But

But I wanted love to be a quickening like sugar, she said, as we entered the dark park. We entered the dark slope of the park in autumn. We had all breath sucked out of us going downhill. It was entering a Brueghel painting. Or worse.

Dark park slope, read us.

The trees reached for us. They were in their own motives. Trees bare of leaves, no longer possessed of the business of themselves. Or so it seemed. They had to do what, just dream all winter long? Just keep the sap moving, I guess. How not to think of neon, loneliness used to outline bars. Leftover humans. It makes me think of leftover humans with rug burns. Talking about them forever.

All our muses were stray dogs.

On ledges.

The serrated park was separated from the prison on the hill by a creek where the Canada geese had their menages in summer. They had their menages on the water. Mostly fighting with other couples. There were really just four of them. Maybe they had lovers too. A filthy creek. The prison, we looked up to it. Just then: no geese. The light bulbs were coming on inside, out. It was a unification principle. Some of the lights were odd greens. Getting dark early, the men must have stirred harder.

The men with figures in their heads, constantly counting back to acts. Who does that?  Useless, locked up ponytails.

Farming the human body gets you there. I mean menders with drugs.

We flowed down the hill talking blithely of sugar, love, death, vegetables gone sour. Here eat this, she said, meaning a strange fruit she had picked from the ground like a poison dream in a fairy tale. I laughed. There was a jagged glass ring on a branch end, neck of a broken bottle someone (probably a kid) had stuck there. The bethrothal. I marry you, forced nature, with this piece of broken glass.

There had been an actual wedding here a week ago. Parks are never safe from brides and grooms. Pastel tissue flowers melted in the rain. There was inexplicably a hunk of watermelon. The dogs jerked back like Frankenstein’s monsters when we screamed. The watermelon was a bomb, we told them. Dogs will believe anything. We are a social state suddenly. When we have pets. Other people had touched it. All the animals that follow, who come after other people have left, they must have had their mouths all over it. Easy watermelon, I distrust you. If something is dropped or dipped in nature, it will be much scrutinized and then enter all mouths when the appropriate, manipulative stars shine.

There is a hatred of easiness, easiness.

We were in relation to each other but bugging.

It is a way to be, sitting on tree trunks as we were now never known, listening to our own stories like skeins of geese that had passed over us quite some time back, giving us a reference point for the narrative we would soon chuck into the all night grocery store. Maybe 3 a.m. talking to overlapping lobsters, milling carapaces in a glass tank refracts them in ways they will never know.

What you said, what I said, as the prison on the hill dreamt.

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.