it’s just like a gunshot
these hot words in my head that force
blood to move
for once I am not tar
and the girl on the back of this page
she is certain
I will find a way
she sings it “goes on and on”
and it will
If I don’t stop it myself
because when your gaping petals expand
just to taste the blood of Christ
every velvet ant will find his way
to your core
because when you are born on the mouth of July
you are a sedative blue tongue
and they will come to extract
you from your veins
because your short life is meant to feed
caterpillars, it is impossible
to assume that you would be
collected in the fall
just buried in wallpaper
trapped in a past life
guessing on about oil in still life canvas
on a second thought my eyes shift
to roll back
and he slithers up toward my lips
because if he could he wouldn’t exist
yet here we begin
just two pieces of black ice
melting pastels into sunset
and if we could get it back together
from memory – where it is what it was –
we would pluck tiny pellets from
pomegranates in winter
without each other
For this time being, she swept dirt away from dirt and from cactus and captured the memory of a small home made of partially buried lava rock and desert rain weeds. She swept Earth away from itself, angrily debating existence. And it was comfortable.
She wanted to sit and invite a sister and a mother to laugh and admire her desert. Without a roof. Without water. Without time. She wanted to stay and wait for a summer moon to smile at her with pride, with knowing.
And night came, but the desert never becomes cold. Coyotes came to practice midnight and bury sharp hunger through the necks of jack rabbits. The universe came to cover her head and remind her of tin roofs and frail wood spines of old women that shriek with each step she steps.
How cold the desert becomes in that small house.
Elvis is alive. Fact or fiction. Electric theory travels across a nation. She meets guitars and drums and sex and drugs. She is seventeen wild in a broken city. She is chained to an old lamp-post that jolts to life at sunset. Her lungs are clogged. Smog takes over. She inhales a damp determination for life that doesn’t smell like rot.
I meet her at twenty two and Newport Beach. Carpet stained by black top walks and coffee. It’s an LA Times kind of morning. Knit tops cover immodest mannequins waving to her from window cages. He head hangs to her knees. Cracks in the sidewalk taunt her. She is guilty and broken. She doesn’t speak or mimic or cry, but she can hear intent. I give her symbols. Ice. Shadow. Flight.
She chooses to choke.
Summer leaves her. I leave her in an hourglass. Her slim smile leaks through the sand. Time is running out.
She starts talking to the desert. A language I can’t understand. Ink leaks from eyes to her young lips. She tastes words for the first time. I stop to watch. She is thick with rage. We are intense and struggling. Our muscles melt together with neurons and we know each other. We are scared.
We see doctors and pills and whiskey and we time it just right so that our bodies do not fail. And we buy reviews and our way into a new way. Oranges explode and we drink fruit rinds. And I miss her when she is not there. We discover each other but we do not know. What is truth? Where does it begin and with who? We softly debate existence and beg for an out. Shamefully we beg for an out.
And here we are. In the middle of the Earth. Gravity. Cells. DNA. Still so unsure. Still begging for an out…
until we step into his driveway at midnight. Our hearts shake. His sharp hunger examines our every layer. One hand behind our neck. We stop breathing. We are out.
He swims like a whale,
blubbered up from pomposity.
He is all.
He creates territory
I am followed.
To the outskirts, I dream –
puffed up on Winter
by a pulse
that refuses to let go.
All the while, He is made,
poaching my land,
harvesting my seed….
and then they say it’s HIS plan,
so HE takes it all from ME?….
The season will change again,
as seasons often do,
and I will settle firm
inside the Earth,
where He will never follow.