Curled up by the fire.
Paws touch hands. One last blink. The
sound of flapping wings.
One night I slip and fall inside a dream:
Here people sigh, they groan, they shake the trees,
but branches never swing and nothing falls.
Until at last I hear a throbbing scream,
then stars begin to drop like fruits. The breeze
dissolves, the blood congeals, and roar the squalls.
And then I notice how the senseless lights
are rolling into seas, with grace and ease,
but stay afloat, illuming sleeping dolls
that dream this dream their lonely endless nights—
Open the body's gates. Now, let fear
come, up those steps of bone and down
pulsating halls, to the room
decorated with love,
chamber of the heart.
Offer your breath.
He spotted the goddess Panacea,
in the superstore shopping for popcorn.
Are you making healing popcorn? He asked.
"No, regular," she said. "Well, with sugar
and cinnamon." But why? He demanded
to know her secret. "I'm watching a film,"
she responded, looking vexed. Will you cure
someone after the movie? "No!" she raged,
"I have a life outside of work, you know?"
And so this is how it happened that she
punched the annoying man and then had to
heal his bruised lips, which was, not, at all, tough
except this all happened on her day off.
Each one of us is a story with a beginning we did not write and a conclusion we cannot predict. I remember, back in my school days, a young lady named Marissa who didn't like being a story. She wanted to be the author and force her story to conclude in a particular way. A way that made sense to her. Marissa even wrote a note, which ended with "The End." But that is not how her story ended. People still talk about it, changing the narrative, drawing new connections, discussing other possible endings. It should not have ended that way, some say. It really did not have to, others agree. I remember once Marissa told me how her grandparents met on the Titanic. The next day she said, I made it up. How happy she looked, for a very brief moment, for having fooled me.
I’m the guy, you’re the girl
I am the bivalve and you the pearl.
I the habit, you are the choice.
I’m the lips, you’re the voice.
I the muscle but you the pulse.
You’re the desired, I the impulse.
You the shepherd and I the sheep.
You’re the dream and I sound asleep.
Walking to work
Covering my ears as always
Past the scream and grind
Of savage machines
My feet deep in heavy snow.
Suddenly I saw:
By the construction site sat
Balanced on the edge of a curb
Something black and red
Under a thick layer of ice
Immune to the December sun.
In those days I didn't know
what a scarlet tanager
looked like dead
or sounded alive.
It's the thirteenth time.
Torn (no, ripped), taped back together,
official, regulated, proper,
destined to arrive there,
at the wrong time,
the wrong department,
in the wrong hands.
The white envelope dark
like Hades, smirks,
mocking my inability
to follow elusive instructions.
I must have sinned.
The form's my boulder.
Why do I bother?
Why do I bother?
Fluorescent lights reflecting off the floor
Painted with jet-black but faded arrows
Not at the jasmine-scented night
Leaning against the giant glass
But soothing lies beyond guarded doors
Flyers overhead asleep in the sky
Flyers afloat with nothing—naught—to flap
Going nowhere quicker
On greedy dreams and fiery throats
Metal swallowing beaks and souls
Inside fluorescent lights flicker