I want to move
through your heart
Seven miles from my front porch.
I want to move
through your heart
She couldn’t bear to be forgettable. If you had ever met her, you couldn’t have forgotten her.. Moreover, she never would’ve forgotten you. People and lives collected in her mind like butterflies do in lakeside caves, and when she closed her eyes to rest each night, the stories she’d encountered would twinkle like stars in the dark of her eyelids, glowing forever at a steady pace.
By the morning, I will have returned
To discover petals and sparkling sand awaiting me,
Florida coasts and spewing engines
Diamond-studded darkling - I hear your song.
We held hands and we swore,
In your name, I beheld my life and my soul.
Windswept balconies and frosted windows
It was all over, then.
I remember the days when you lived in my ribcage.
You would press upon my arteries - my bones - my lungs -
As if you belonged -
I remember the rain sweltered and shook as we stood,
As we fell, we tried to land
Anywhere or somewhere,
But your only home was between my shoulder bones
And you did admit –
The heart that beat wasn’t yours.
By midnight, I will have climbed and indeed,
Leapt off the rainy ledge with bare feet and
A dry numbing in my ribs.
By evening, I will find you where you’ve fallen
And there, we will be.
I hear, often, the hush as you slip away
Like a glassy fish slides into water, smeared in the grease
That an oil tanker leaked into its skin.
The stains on the wallpaper, they
Dripped like syrup
Stealing secrets from our eyelids when we slept.
Perhaps I’ve wandered quite far,
Swimming through this swamp to reach you
Is an etched, bloodless task.
Perhaps the rhymes in your gills
Glint in the sun as you swim,
As you convulse to wash your stained skin cells.
Clear air cuts into your lungs.
I stop leaking, and sink.
I burned one hundred and
four pages of sin in the fireplace.
Bound neatly in the slick covers
of my first book of poetry.
This is for my
father, who doesn’t know that
the absence of him in my words is more telling
than what I refuse out of love
whose love was a bruised
peach, rolled gently between my palms,
whose hands are growing smaller as I grow
I burn all of those
words. I burn my love. My sorrow. For you. As you
douse my words in gasoline and I turn around so that
you cannot see me crying. Run, so that you
can take the books out one by one from the flames,
saving them from what I have tried to hide, your
fingers turning black along their
corners. Your hands
To you, who believed in me. You blow the
smoke through the chimney like a signal. And
I touch the soft grey
ash in the fireplace,
still in the shape of
the dedication page that I had
forgotten to write,
that says, For you,"
My Father, who burned
my words alive, just to see if I would risk my flame
for what I believed
"I believe that today more than ever a book should be sought after even if it has only one great page in it. We must search for fragments, splinters, toenails, anything that has ore in it, anything that is capable of resuscitating the body and the soul."
"Methinks we have hugely mistaken this matter of Life and Death. Methinks that what they call my shadow here on earth is my true substance. Methinks that in looking at things spiritual, we are too much like oysters observing the sun through the water, and thinking that thick water the thinnest of air. Methinks my body is but the lees of my better being. In fact take my body who will, take it I say, it is not me. And therefore three cheers for Nantucket; and come a stove boat and stove body when they will, for stave my soul, Jove himself cannot. (7.7)"