How it will come to you, this joy
that rides in on pain and breathes
your inspiration. The one who
dwelled beside stands at the gate
waiting for another shining passerby.
In the tree, a conspiration of birds
abides this green nature. You had
forgotten how performance
isolates. But in this only moment
now, such surfeit, such grace.
The sadness of the family goes away when
you give up on your parents’ happiness.
Not far at first, it just moves in with
a family down the street–you see it
on their doorstep waiting for the dad
to get home. Kids at school think it’s your
cousin, looks kinda like you, you say
so what. Later it seems gone for good,
but then one day you’re riding in that
swaying endless station wagon, counting
phone poles and potholes and there it is:
looking all lonely, kicking weeds
in an empty lot. “Look, look!” your
mother hollers backing up and
looking back, and you see it
big as sunshine on her face:
she misses it, she misses that sadness,
she wishes it would come home.
Now you know that if it did,
she’d have something she could love.
to want to say
wanting having said
saying, wanting to have said
having said wanting
In your muggy prehistoric, we roam,
we rage and root up monstrous vegetation.
We converge at roiling waterholes
or in warm seas you call raging. Consider
our volcanoes, our smog, our canopies
and canapés, our lack of ice and
entertainment. Taxis. Cosmetics.
We are always open-mouthed, fussing,
grumpy preludes to grappling and ripping
or just showing off our dentition.
Our flanks commandeer broad air while you
are safely far from underfoot, small,
chittering in rank leaves or underground,
hiding out from your first apocalypse.
An inhabitable planet–fresh water, caves,
edible plants, forests, deserts, beaches.
Unvarnished accounts from the frontier.
Histories in which no one wanted to be king.
our disengagement, our disapproval
of the proceedings, just not caring more
about the artifact or the scary
presence of the morph, or the untoward
requisition of articles of proof,
our reluctance, our fading steamy thread
of love, our forbearance, our petit fours
our migraine, popliteal vein, our rain
and portal nightmare, our more than passing
acquaintance with gravity and all its
grave stuff, the notes we wrote pertaining to
the stock, and yes the demon in the woods,
the afterlife of celestial motion
our little spinning turn on earth
By the time our opportunity arrived,
our good name had been made bad for good–
they rolled the spite and wordage out and
rolled in it too like dogs in muck. Oh yes
we dreamed of crowbars and poisoned soup,
slippery factory floors, electrical
mishaps. Meanwhile rain crackled like shifting
ice, thunder like some implosion of what
we felt in that suddenly flat landscape,
nothing in sight but weather. We hastened
to relocate our spoiled selves, jettisoned
our personal effects, and now we stand
stout in the rigging of our rebirth.
The place where you sat in the sun is still
sunny. The yard still bristles with chimes
in strong wind. My bad eye still lives
in a world with two moons. Our room is still
a mess. And the malaise is still here. And
I still expect to see you in every
waking moment and every dream. And
everything’s exactly as you left it
but you’re gone.