He forgot to carve his name onto it—my slow-dead
womb builder. So he thatched this house with reeds
as presences and struck cymbals.
I gave its shambles to the fire, heaped its mar and its
lime, and the skeletal birdcage of it into the memory
of a tongueless August mouth.
Its chasm, a door—its screen porch, a belching Madonna.
Thin-torn frankincense fumes like god-blood from the split
of its rarefying wound, where the
whole of purgatory is a scent of goulash and of low mur-
murs; the sin of knowing, a Clorox-tinged swimming pool
rash and the sponge of wood rot.
the rattletrap where i watch
in flesh-colors quiet as the static
on play-slides gallop to a cutlass.
and decrepit with me in a malibu
it rusts in happy meals. bloats on
a warm backseat corpse savoring
in fragmented leather castled by
dehydrated fries like blades.
a baby tooth
unfastened by salty
and swallowed and
basking where i wish i knew
that the myth of sisyphus is
me and you.
i drowse here in a moth box
missing a lock behind a thrift
store under someone else’s
magazines and kool filter kings, soft
snaking in my nose and staying
in my head.
but i appear to be
here, but i am neither here nor
in this illusions jaundiced blue eye
where i am either
one with these walls or alone
still surrounded by them.
Dew is the fever sweat of ailing evenings—I pale-clutch a
fist of roan fur along the mane of the family dog, while we
lope after mirages and tomb bones.
Greasy, the sight of this night-drenched gun—it’s old walnut,
snug-shouldered at the shade of the three-fingered thunder
god, who long-drags from a wicker chaise.
His thick forearms roll out from a work shirt, spitting still-
birthed thunderclaps from one good reptile eye, Virginia
butts kinked into rings of lamed lightning.
In this version of twilight, I am larval ashes, ghost-clung to
this rank animal pelt—the sick pig of my scalded spine lolls
to the left like a rage-fractured digit.
had i mused in those germ-days a thought to trace uphill
and to address that handmade grave entwined
in the dirt of my joints, to mythic men to sorries to isles
or reposed on a waterbed he rests
made of metal but melted like wax
in a year a twisted wick wrought
in the orient of the crucifix he was
wedged and expelled like my weight.
and i recede within myself
tinctured in the bile box quiet or the tarry
dregs of california dreams that turn to
on trashcans inside
I chalk a barrier in the shade of morning, after my
quiet darlings uncurtained these line-hung linens,
slid wide a new aperture with
promises of soft clay fruit. Were it only that god were a
god and no white toad in the vein, a colloid of tarantula
hairs and heat, varicose.
Should I have shook shoulders, rubbed up flank skin
with preservative salt, or sealed off sense in Canopic
urns for a dimple, or the moon
of a vocal cord? And is there a blue, if not for the red
road hymn cramped in my throat, a dry heave to milk
loathing into a lip-smeared vase?
let not these wasting days persuade nor
nap their pigtails glimmering in the nail, the
blade-bone called my back-turned
to clinch this golden gate in failing
dreams to fog in glary salt-black,
that neon eye, which rarely askance
stays smoke on the rheumy sea.
i could to heartbeat death palpitate
or blood-brain to that blinding place.
the mind at least survives or makes you
think it may.
but the world owlishly shuts.