Splendid the time that laid eggs in our nest!
Bending to worship the self in thin winds. At the end of the stick
the disease of numb tongues
and yet, it was the end of the stick. I have only one lung.
Give me the others, each exhalation hell reaping the benefits.
And in the wrong poem is death, from which the beginning
is a frail dessert. Bees as lively as champagne bubbling from our flutes!
I leave the table and dig a circular grave beneath the peach tree,
then dig more circular graves the size of peaches
for the fruit that doesn’t get picked to fall in.
Children holler at us, the flowers are blooming!
chained pets leaning into the sun. The child I give birth to
otherwise inappropriate in the presence of the dead,
cauldron simmering our egos
breaking the skin of the porridge
and disappearing to speak of courage,
rescuing all future inadequacies.
Prying the eye apart, I begin
with the wrong poem—we toast,
To be invited you had to know us by our questions
fulfilling your promises by narrowly escaping each absence.
In the aftermath, hideous plant life
the gardener choking most rigorous of survivors.
He had to! It was written into our programs
dispersed by gentle hands of a breeze coming
from the penitentiary on the south side of town—we unlocked it
the community doing good work
unleashing free labor, my mismanaged consciousness
on its knees stuck in service.
Today we release all felonies from their narrow intelligences
spooning out marrow from stronger bones.
The answer to “must we.”
When the rains refused
to speak to us we brought them herbs
for their throats, a cough syrup made of blisters
from holding the reins too tightly
welts we grew afraid of even as they healed.
Celebrations pray for good weather,
the poem turning in the wind like an embarrassed weathervane
I held my woman
by the scarf around her neck and danced
I always pick the dullest clementines
my boots filling with insults making a mess of unswept floors
where foxes discover some rare crust
some ornament of blood like the family pearls
although my family has no blood to bead
they can out cuss rain on tin roofs
poisoned with a tea made from the barn’s collapsed rubble
the chorus drowning into formation
ocean colliding with hooves from small animals.
The celebration song velvety as mist and oil mixing
clouds hung low in the clarinet
kids tearing at their feet like scabs
I delayed the music until further notice—
the girl burping up the name of her tribe
knelt over a natural drain occurring in the earth
with a hook and one wiry strand of gray hair
fishing for her wedding band. The hole
was one darkness
and the worms nibbling like a pair of old married vultures
was another. She could not rescue
a circle with half of another circle.
From behind we tugged on her purple bodice
startled she rose holding the lure
and growing from the foundation
a root she wrestled out from under a house.
I held a bouquet of flowers
petals clinging to its tightly woven net.