The temple is almost gone. Its remains settle snugly into a niche surrounded by grasses and poppies. The sun is so hot it turns the sky white, burns the chlorophyll out of the tops of the plants, putting all the colors together and makes everything seem bright and otherworldly. It’s like finding an old shin bone in the grass. In many years, the stone will have worn further, time folding it gently back into the earth. All the while—if we have stayed away—the poppies will have claimed everything, falling into cracks, stretching their arms out, running over the hills and bones, spots of blood on a handkerchief.
Work with audio narration or other accompaniment
from “Two Young Lovers”
This all day
ignore the hate
he paid for it
the money extravagant
down toward him.
to burn the night
won’t be safe for
I’m sorry Listen.
this mess is
the only home I’ve ever had
from “The Pink Lady”
distinct the feeling
I could neither move nor speak
he was gone.
I had fallen silent
had actually happened.
I stood out
a sharp startle
he terrified that
My experience was
a sensation of being followed
mother experienced this many times
It became common for each of us
pollen glasses dark
rust shimmers the universe
lies charcoal the nest
A leech floats along a pond
like a man’s flaccid penis
who is enjoying a hot bath
and the sight of his member
poising. A leech, though,
has circular saw teeth, genetic
hardware for creating instant
glory holes. Its spit and mucus
slobbering—sticky and wispy
like Jell-O shots—seals out
any feeling as each frill
of its head distends and
ebbs. Gulp. Gulp.
Through the window of a childhood
home, crickets filled the air with bubbles
that they plucked, stridulations. A rapid-fire
of vanishing rainbows popping
into chirplets. My grandma used to sing
Good night, sleep tight
don’t let the bed bugs bite
if they do, promise
to catch a few
and we’ll cook ‘em up
for the morning.
On a clear summer night, the wind keyed
across the trees, rolling the leaves
like a tambourine. Jingles falling over
dreams. Bubbles floating across the bath
of my eyes, cavitations. I was an audience. Why
wasn’t that enough?
Because he can no longer sleep, Roy spends nights
seated against the fridge, which is the least of all
the strangeness that has bubbled up like swamp gas
since he lost his lover. He sees a spider with cinnamon
stick legs, two city workers shove the sun down a manhole,
and other such delusions. Besides rest, Roy just wants
to walk a bridge that doesn’t turn to dragon. He doesn’t mind
the Tuvans, though, three men in silk who huddle close
and sing from their throats. It is a comfort to have them near
when a radish becomes his lover’s eye and blinks.
At the Laundromat, Roy’s Tuvans rescue him
from a Mariachi serenade, blare tone over tone
under tone until the Mariachis stagger out, stunned.
And although it’s unlike a delusion to cook a stew
and wash the pots, that’s what his Tuvans do back
at what has become Roy’s apartment, his alone,
a sight stranger than the rest. At night the Tuvans lay
Roy down, sit on his bed and sing of horses or melt water
or sun, Roy doesn’t know the words or how to sleep
but the song is a hard bridge and his steps steady.
Admiring the corporality of animals, we’re parked in the ghost car. I have an indoor question: How many misspelled thoughts must I have, anyway? There’s nothing more beautiful than wanting the impossible to be true, especially when it is. Time passes faster in the mountains, than it does by the sea. Like a drowned body, the sky’s blue prairie floats overhead. Wind light as confetti. Maybe we should take a drive to the beach; go for a swim? I don’t want to give away the ending, but I can tell you it’s a beauty. No one attends their own funeral. Know what I’m saying? By the way, that outfit looks good on you. Although, it all depends on how you look at it.
It doesn’t matter who answers
the phone, it’s the same forecast:
snow following snow,
road closed followed by Jessie
returning to John, wrist healed
and you can hardly tell anything
went wrong, until she waves hello.
Or is it goodbye. You know, this much
cold, this high, batters the eye
until all it sees is warmth. The girls
lining up crayons before dinner.
Coals orange as a daffodil’s trumpet.
So easy to forget tomorrow’s ash.
In a ghost town, bowls of thin soup
steam on every edge. Nothing
can hurt us. The pioneers. We forget why
we came—but look at that mountain.
Was anything ever so new?
and you tell me you take your men from different
angles and catch them in your frame and gather
them in your drag : and I imagine you make them
like fish of the sea : you see : natural like this : and
you show me images and images and images and say
look : they are beautiful here and the meat of this
city is plenteous for me : and I ask if you’ve been
captured before : and you show me yourself hung in
the black ropes and dancing and say : this is aerial
silk : the art of suspension : and you read these lines
over my shoulder and it is dark in the city and your
studio is cold tonight and the light from my
computer is blue over us and alma inversa you say :
alma inversa : these men are not animals ayes : but
people I love in the moment I am with them :
te ves en mis llamas : you see yourself in my flames