Hope

Maybe I am dirt. Maybe
I am dirt that buries you,
and it’s in me
to learn
to softly bring you water
that tastes something
like the sun.

Coming in from the Rain

Rumination is made with a bell,
landing in me. Drizzle scarves
the shoulders. Dampness is not the opposite
of dust. Movement sticks to its illusion,
she said one night into the sound
of my name in her body. There are only steps, she said,
against the banks of things.
I make it back inside.
Shoes squelch the marble floor,
then plunge the hall. I move into the pulse of it,
up the dead river’s flow.
I can feel your heart in me, she said.

Coming in from the Rain

This rumination of a bell,
repeating
wavelengths
unpronounced in me.
So, it lands,
dampness sticking to
the shoulders, the back,
flutterings of
falling apart.

“She’s got great faith,”
I’d say, teasing her.
Sometimes, it’s
“things are meant to be.”
Other days,
“some things never change.”
Or, like yesterday, it’s,
“everything changes.”

“Movement settles into its illusion,”
she said one night
inside the sound
of my name
from her body.
“There are only steps,” she says,
“against the banks of things.”

I make it inside,
Shoes squelch on the marble floor,
like some strange duck,
and rise up into the hall,
and then back to me.
I walk into it, dragging all I can,
up into the underground flow,
the dead river,
despite never understanding
who’s calling, either the rain,
or the bell,
or just some damn duck.

So Far

Here’s what I’ve noticed.
An airplane, slow
as scissors, that flatlines the sky.
And, birds
that slice the air
above a dump, wings V’d,
like blades, demonstrating either
how to leave, or go.

Again

Maybe, this morning
you are raking leaves,
scraping yellow canals through a yard’s
parched lake, that each morning,
after sleep, weigh lightly
against the ankles,
parts, as you walk, rejoin.

Fall is new here, and teases gravity,
and leaves dervish,
decomposing into birds.
But you loved trees,
didn’t you? And me,
mound of decay, smoke-bleached.

And now,
I feel myself breathe.
For a moment, I believe
I can decipher the air
where you sing to yourself,
wading in again, another road
peeling through the beautiful ruin,
recollecting, then, the old truth,
the new truth, that even trees will
have souls again,
while others blacken
as they burn.

Kioshkokwi

It rained in the kitchen
this morning.
Can I speak this way to you?
There is, after all, my passion
to consider, and your grace.
As I walked near the open sill today,
rain
breezed in, and I admitted
to myself, this feels like
a blessing might. So,
shall I
say something? After all, I
only feel it, like two
minor chords playing in their
different time, a miracle
because they steadily
enlarge
joy
from pain
But, I want you to tell me
about this thing of
hardly being born.
On Kioshkokwi River, we
paddled to Crooked Island,
south of Lost Dog Bay, and we
knelt
under a ridge of pine,
then spread ourselves into
eddies of fern and juniper,
as the storm pushed across,
and after
we lay surprised at the kind of rain
leafs and those long, untouchable
cuticles of sun can make,
without words, or praise, except
after, a spruce grouse from where we had
hid startled us, thumping up,
and coasted
through
the vivid woods.
And it drifted across the sill,
this morning, warm,
the light
turning in
a breeze against the sail of glass.
And, so, do I tell you I feel
dying here
is not quite
possible? That some things
arrive deep in night, or on
the thin surfaces of
mornings because
the days
only end, utterly.
Can I put this to words
for you, then believe that
we will continue to see
other days like
Kioshkokwi, that drifted
back this morning?
As though it rained that night,
droplets of sweat budding on
your lips, constellations
collecting along
your collarbone,
their tiny
stars emanating just beyond
the ochre nimbuses of your breasts,
celestial bodies
making
landfall
beneath me.
And, as I passed by
the window this morning,
left open all night, the rain
came in, at last
whirring through like
a river
in the air,
coming back
to life.

Last Words

I think I smiled when you said,
I’m dead to you. Last words, unoriginal,
not like you, sweetheart.
I’m going to drive from Hamilton through to Cambridge.
My mind will be as incandescent as their fields.
My metaphor will be the heart —
in keeping, at last, with your words,
under ground, devoured by
the body of dirt and the dull bones
that have turned into lead.
I’ll smile, the way a smile is a cliche,
a hole that buries things.

Sweetheart

The last thing I want to write about
are words, sweet corpses of feelings,
though last night I dreamt about you,
not you, I suppose, but your foreign words
taunt on my mouth:
“Merhaba, gunaydin, askim,” I said,
to nobody.

In the coffee shop this morning,
there’s a woman here, like you.
Dark hair and dark eyes —
and so
the strange, defiant light.

I’d like to say hello to her,
good morning,
but I’m stopped by crumbs
covering me,
and old sugared coffee spilled
across the table,
sticky against skin, stuck
to its own silent words.

Trans Am

You go to bed very early,
wounded, unsure how.
Maybe shot in the abdomen,
though still can’t seem to find bullets,
or slammed by a Trans Am
on Russell Street, turning west,
no, perhaps chased down
by a deer pursued by a sound
it does not see. But,
having said that,
there are no Trans Ams anymore.
Regardless, you feel it,
under the night, under
the tree, under the weak lamp
on the street,
a shape parked
under the rotting sheets
of leaves.

Trans Am

You go to bed very early,
wounded, but unsure how.
Maybe shot in the abdomen,
though still can’t seem to find the bullets,
or slammed by a Trans Am
on Russell Street, turning west,
or no, perhaps chased down
by a deer pursued by
the weakest sound. But,
having said that,
there are no Trans Ams anymore.
Still, you feel it. Somehow,
it’s there, but not
any more.