start left: look sideways, low, those
lakeside dreamy hedgehogs
at themselves with human hands,
pruning ticklish bits of hay from the pyre.
Hear the yellow
beating hearts held captive yolks, the
thread stretched tight.
of beds unmade,
second halves tugging
at their unremembered
There are two people on this earth.
There are two people on this earth, and you are not included.
I try eyes, new eyes, new hands.
Try to remember if they live in gloves,
in soapy water. To remember who I was
before I had the words. The smallness
with a too-big waist.
The vacant teeth.
The back that bristled under
lakeside sun, the mirrored face.
Threads that knit into your mouth.
the rigid, restless dark
that licked at fur already
thick with blood.
how to swallow cut skin whole.
Six Years Old
First pet store: armful of bunny
that it hurt my chest to love and
mother lied, said daddy was allergic,
bye bunny. Miss you.
Big book full of dog pictures
in my sister’s little lending library,
Dogs are loyal, they are soft,
sister’s pointer: idea A, result B.
Daddy went abroad, got an armful of dog
who shit on his boots in the airport.
Dog tried to dig a hole in her bed:
not in the wild anymore, I whisper.
Big garden: not for dog.
Reminds me of circus, one time I went,
tiger bones too frightening,
Six here again, hit those clowns
with my fists: tiger’s not your plaything, clown.
Now older, love my stupid dog
but I want a gator for a pet,
his smooth silky old stomach, dinosaur bones,
to hold hands (claw to hand),
to put a leash on it:
Just taking my gator for a walk, Mr. Neighbor!
Bunnies in a petstore window:
Oh, my heart,
my dinosaur bones.
Bathtub Poem, Staged
Have you ever tried moving to a ribcage beat? Feel the word enthralled,
flesh and blood cobras flashing teeth against your speed. Call back love today
and mean it, upper body strength be damned. The rock is halfway up the hill,
the rats all running in the other direction.
Do you think we could die from it? If I didn’t slip on the fur & pearls from time to time,
drowning in impractical ecstasy and letting you all hold your breath and watch me.
Stated otherwise, if I didn’t love you or if you loved me back.
If you couldn’t bet relief against my reverie, couldn’t watch me like a TV screen.
Did my heart til now? I doubt it. You don’t forget the stretch, the
bricked discomfort where the sphinx unfurls clawed feet and takes three paces,
stiff feet to the outside of someone else’s door.
Tell me how it will be the second time before I try to stop the bleeding.
I wanted hurt and couldn’t find you. I used what was available.