Driving

under drying skies, north,
passing fields
the summer has been too wet
to turn brown,
i wait for God
to appear, for poems to rise
like mists, for some sort
of ever

that doesn’t sting.
croon to me like a wild road,
sunlight spider-webbing
across a cracked windshield
across strange arms
across a morning we can all afford
to spend and live
and live.

what i found inside the black box

so much
can happen in a decade. in a night filled
with spiral-sta(i)red decline. things

to hold on to, in sacred letters tall as a man:
to touch. you should have known
there: tangere, like want. volare, to fly.

i’ve forgotten the past tense.
plusquamperfect amaveram,*
but only in the wrong tongue. she died.

now that coat hangs hung, like a wish,
starched with thin veins, so much in a decade.
some things you hold against forever.

memoryclamped. what if you could fly then,
glasseyed and steady. beads tight round
white wrist, to want with small fingers.

something many-touched to hang on to
in the night. meant to hold not to cut, meant
to hold not to cut. meant to hold not to cut.

 

*translations all from the Latin. amaveram is the first-person plusquamperfect tense of amare = I had loved.

from “notes on physiognomy”

joshua tree in black and white

i hung my heart from the stiff arms of a joshua tree
to dry in the mojave sun.
the veins tightened and cracked,
muscle fibers stiffened and swung
ever so slightly in the rarefied desert air,
paling, and against the blue blue of the sky
it grew beautiful for a moment,
beautiful as all the poetry in the world.