close carry

i used to fall asleep in the car,

riding home at night after a

 

long outing. i remember the hum

of the road, the flashing head

 

lamps; i remember the sudden quiet

of the engine cutting off, daddy scooping

 

me up in his arms to carry me in. some

times a shoe would slip, a mumble, a word—

 

a hint that i wasn’t completely asleep;

but he would carry me up the stairs into

 

the house, up the stairs into my bed.

i don’t remember what was said: just

 

the strong arms around me, the

scent of man, of capability, of love.

 

later there would be times i would try

to recreate this safe feeling, this

 

extended touch, this close carry.

but it was never the same.

 

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worse for the wear

this is the poem i don’t want to write.

this is the poem that is not beautiful.

 

or maybe it is,

because it is true.

 

the truth is,

i wish she were worse for you.

 

the truth is,

i wish she would just disappear.

 

i wish she were not so much like me.

it would be easier to hate her.

 

for both

of us.

 

the truth is,

she is good for you.

 

the truth is,

she is better for you

 

than i

would be.

 

i try to woo you with

my words, mystery,

 

well-timed

misery;

 

but the truth is,

i’ve never had a healthy

 

relationship.

it feeds the

 

poetry, but not

the living.

 

the truth is,

if she disappeared

 

tomorrow, i would not

know what to do.

 

i would probably

cry for you.

 

and then

for me.

 

i am the one who

should disappear.

 

i am the one who

is worse for the wear.

 

 

 

 

 

summer of the painting

i want to live in a

light house.

 

it’s

time.

 

these wrinkles

and lines need

 

something to open

and close

 

with a light

inside.

 

you have the

gift.

 

you are starting

to believe it.

 

you are starting to

love your self

 

to

pieces:

 

a solitary wing

with its lantern

 

pair flapping in the

distance;

 

a flickering

cyclops

 

watching

the seasons;

 

a window;

a wind—

 

to speak through

and in and on

 

and on

and anon.

anselm-kiefer-wolundlied-1982

Song of the Wayland, Anselm Kiefer

 

 

i think i missed you

we wake

to create;

 

we carry some-

thing from the

 

night: thick

on us, in us—

 

a thousand stories deep

as the crow flies.

 

we were meant

to meet there,

 

you and i—

but

 

i think i

missed you.

 

i think we are

living the before.

 

—or—

 

this is my body,

broken for you,

 

like in the

hereafter.

 

we are here

to make some-

 

thing new:

but we know

 

it has all been done

under the heavy static

 

of sun. we traverse the

taverns, ear to the ground

 

for a philistine,

a dervish,

 

something royal

to stir us up.

 

we become the swine

digging in the pearls;

 

it is our

communion.

 

we sit on the dock

and wait; we believe

 

something is on its

way—a ship, a revolution,

 

a stay; a drunken glacier

swaying toward us with glee:

 

to allay our fears, our need,

our repeat existence.

iv.

it starts with

a surge,

 

the intersect of

neck, solar plexus,

 

words — — then,

the dark descent

 

down, down into

the cave drawings

 

of who am i?

 

hunted,

haunted,

 

built for

slow idolatry

 

and waiting:

which is its

 

own electricity—

self-sustaining

 

legacy.

after all is

 

said and done;

after all the

 

battles fought—

few won;

 

what am i here for?

 

 

 

 

iii.

i thought i lost you:

on my own—

 

twist of lightning;

home alone.

 

open-chested

trinity:

 

a paradox of

riches—

 

first steps,

first stay,

 

first time

driving away;

 

the lonely light house

winks at the bay.

 

and we lay, we lay,

we lay down our dark

 

arms and rub up against

the furry light of day.

 

 

 

ii.

the view from in here:

the curves, colors, corners—

 

forming the anchorage of

you. the angled wood running

 

down hallways, dreaming of

being trees in a time before

 

scarcity. she didn’t want to grow,

to move, to change; she knew:

 

something is wrong. she crept into

the wall and fashioned herself in-

 

to a knot: good for the slaying.

from beyond she is still saying:

 

throw me a line. it continues

to feed our gibbous infamy.