Whose eyeballs have you gouged out
today, you old, hoary tree branch,
hairy hands scratching the delicate
orbits? These are not my people,
these tender irised creatures, but
I know them. They were born in
my garden.



Still, to this day, the sun sets
red, purple, yellow. Venerable light,
the way it drags across water, skin
peeled back across a muscle, the speed
it falls into the pit. Then darkness
wanders through the hills, its footprints
dark & bloody, heartbeat slow & cold
breathes mist across the faceless soil,
claims its vast & wasted territory.

Of A World

If there is touch or heart
instead of dust-balls beneath

the bed or leaves pressed under
foot & boot or splinters wedged

like glass into the flesh, there
will be love and loss and spirit.

Of love, sometimes the dread,
a place of restlessness, of nerve

the quiet dust-balls collecting
hair, lint, fibers beneath the bed.

Of loss, always despair, helpless
despair, the sound of leaves cracking

under weight. And spirit, tiny
sharpened wood, its trillion jagged

pieces, burrows in, disappears
into the body of a world.

Where All Things Living

Everything seems to go
wrong in this place; the blackness
is escalating. I can't explain

where the ink is coming from.

As a ghost in its self-weaved web,
whose emptiness is trapped, whose
vacuous nature is spreading, I am

beginning to be here less and less.

I am afraid to go to sleep where
all things living fall through cracks
in uneven, silvered threads.


Bird Song

Don't go back to tears
and wine, to the diseases

of our childhood;

for we have eyes and bones,
small birds in the rafters

expecting dawn.

The world, bestowed on us
without our asking, the songs

we sing, not our own,

we know so often not to hold
our breath, even when it burns.

Bullet in the Shadows

Look how easily
we can be killed.

Night is not a season,
not a dark horse neighing

but lurking like a thief
waiting in the shadows.

I wanted to sustain this,
my young veins pulsing, drop

and roll across the battlefield,
hold the bullet in my mouth.

But that was years ago. Now
I have given up and old,

resign myself.


What Comes After?

Every cell
in a body dreams

of survival while
the heart winds down-

a ballerina jewelry box.

We've been given words
and names and lips for

prayer but we don't know
how to use them. What do you call

a tree who has forgotten
the purpose of seeds or

how to sow them?

Symbolic Act

Violently, the throat-less bird
attempts to sing. Its tiny breath
forced between a cartileged tongue
and sharpened beak, makes no sound.

What is a bird if it cannot master
melody? A doorknob, a stringless
violin,a silent movie to the blind,
a winged and useless effigy.

Faithful Corpuscle

Every day is our birthday;
each night we're dying.

The kingdom of God is
a blank page unwritten,

a cut in the palm that
made us. See fresh blood

seeping thickly into sand,
its purple heart bleeding.

Anemic, we practice religion,
one corpuscle at a time.