Elysium

I used to be afraid
of my own rusted screens
the brown palms
of my hands on their overtime
like the hills
you swept them under

I cannot price
the molehill
of the language we use now
there is a bitterness
there is an equality
it is very much of these flowers

at least

the problem of the personality has been solved

It was solved not for x or y

but this golden field

this nubile cloud above it

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Dear Nathanael

You have broken my heart. You were not at the agreed upon place where we were to meet. Am I using too many words in a sentence? I know that is a symptom of a larger problem. “Where we were to meet.” I am eating craisins from a small foil package to assuage my nervousness. Admittedly, this is not an attractive sight. But I cannot see myself externally, except in sentences. There is nothing here. A frozen lake….or pond. Whatever. And a telephone pole. Are you going to murder me? Should I run before you get here? Or will you never get here? I saw headlights but it was a mirage.

Dear Nathanael,

You have broken my liver.

Baltimore

If I fail to speak to you
As a mirror to a stone in a reader’s desert
As a leaf who has fallen on a car’s hood
Who
Well, we know the Gemini of our feelings
You cross yourself throughout several lifetimes just this way
As the whales traverse oceans
This selfsame moment
We have someone else’s difficult conversation
There is no music for my feelings today
That is the problem over here
(I’m all poppy fields this afternoon)
You have a museum for yours
Still, we are birds of a single claw
This is only a cafeteria where we sit
Who do we think we are catfishing?
As the other couples about us
Other bodies beyond the plate glass
Are doing their duty and becoming reflections
On this day of mercurial puddles
That is the real museum
Out there, good luck it says
Our feeling falls
As a stone’s query to a mirror
As a car that tells a dried leaf danging above it

“Jump and I will catch you”

Process

I understand.

There is a part of you that you wish
would die. It won’t. There’s a part
of you that you wish to live,
to finally understand how to
unfold. It stalls in the bargaining
minotaur of process.

You look up at the evening sky,  fire
over the empty parking lot. You’re the last one
come out. Tunisian sky is the color of thinskin
strangely-bred tulips. Bright yellow,
neon orange,
eyes bothered, watery veins red.

Look at it reflected in the windshield
of your car and it suddenly
more real. Why?

Is this only     chrome feeling?

What is it about reflections,
how they understand where the world
fails to be more?

Is chromatic only        timed feeling?

Sometimes staring into burnished steel
of elevator doors before they have opened,
you feel similar.
They open.
You braid his body to yours in memory.
as if he were merely wicker,
bird, this wickerwork. A pleasant
thought to hold, to braid.

Apostrophes     wraiths

The Celtic form of it finished
and hung out in snow.

You have the hands of the crone
come to the crow. Winter grammar.

This is the part where your dreams stutter,
that is where you lose your place.

Remembering it is like visiting
a cemetery. You must pretend you are
a queen of daft caterpillar feelings. Wed them
as a people. A country
of dead citizens. Be quiet
and it is one-sided as if someone
were dead, though no one is.

It is tolling, only       sand on frozen road.

The wedding ring, his     this caterpillar.

Against Emotion

Sleep, birds or wonder, if you must,
Drowse, wrath, weather on your divan,
Unincorporate, madness, return my marbles
Once scattered in such longing luxury of losing

Velvet crush on stranger couch, flit, avaunt,
Jealousy of legion ants swarming a spat candy,
Darken my kingdom’s confectionary door no more,
Fond icing sugary as men, cupped grace, back off my eyes

Braids of leisure in lover’s hammock arms,
String of lions with hair madly loyal, matted tawn,
Subway of escape at 3 a.m., headlight names,
We must break up, my hothead lover is a Coke machine

someone’s form once left lit in bodily street darkness

so now his engines seize

Under Houses

Who knew such delicate things could spit such necromancy,
I mean a wedding dress in a basement. It breathed
through its plastic skin, coated with a layer
of dust and asbestos. Plaster it bore
dropped from stubborn beams, gypsum
from an old ceiling, shaken out
with the carefulness of grudgework
in a small town with straightjacket lives,
by all those muffled earthquakes, tinny years.
Heavy shoes walked over a headless ghost
whose waist or wait would never give an iota.
From an old heaven above, where they lived,
or rather its underside, erosion below their feet,
gerrymandering ceiling of cracks, it took
its look like history. Something old: a recoil
of a gun, dream-kicking the observer
back to an age that pretended gilding,
whose women would often hang
waiting their whole lives, as if the stars
moved them on tracks like figures
in a medieval clock.  Drugged.
The dress had weirdly hung its promise
of nearly royal treatment in whose
snailshell years beyond knowing:
did it come true? Something new:
a shuddering sense of someone
buried alive down there, breathing,
starving for life, waiting to emerge,
a boil under Alencon lace and seed pearls
still weirdly optimistic, young,
something like a paper doll
whose child died a century ago
wanting you, wanting anyone,
an invitation to undo, redo.
Its own dead body was no concern
to its ambition, its (              ) form.
Something borrowed: a ghost in you,
the observer underground,
dust-smocked Orpheus,
uphill, suddenly, just to breathe.
Something blue: a light switch
popped its tongue like a witch
as I reversed in a spell
out of the past
by walking backwards
up nobody’s rickety stairs,
out of the dark
and its hopes.