There is a way to be curt with a field. The runnels of self-pity, the sludge of preponderance. I don’t use words aright, alway. I am dumb as a post. I mean dead as a post. A goat cast asunder a ship. The sounds come out wooden. This must be the sea left over. I went where the sea met the mud, the slag of the alluvial guts of some dragon-sing, the earth’s spit and image. So I am curt with the field, a-winter the shelved bark I gnaw like a scarab come home. And that is me protesting love. I mean into you a field of sound. Green as.
Morning goes across a small, dark pond. The pond goes across the color pink. The color pink goes across the mind of an early walker. The early walker goes across the page of human mind, endlessly turning. This turning goes across the mourning dove who watches from above, in the branches of the frou-frou mimosa. The mimosa goes across geological eras, carrying itself with feminine self-possession. Self-possession goes across my mind briefly, but then I am all these things again. I am the memory of a coffee spoon on a crosstown bus. Where did I leave myself again?
Energy in this room. Furnishings in this room. Particles of life. Photons. Papers with ideograms which are not always loyal. A television’s most sincere dreams. I cherish the t.v’s dreams like those of a bride. I feel a twinge when I must turn it off. It is like leaving a lover when I must leave the room. I close the door behind me, to let the television know that I am its protector. When I find dust on the forehead of the television, I could weep. But it lets me know how faithful my television is. When I see a television thrown out, lying with the garbage in a street, I feel an urge to rescue it. Even if it is dead, it deserves better. How could you not offer a decent burial to one of your closest living relations. What sort of animal lives in that house?
Keep your white hair, she says. I go around and walk around an artificial lake that has become real. With the snow and the geese, it has become real. There is no place not to be real. That is the unavoidable thing. Keep, she says, in a place where she is disappearing. She wants me to be old with her, to walk on the mountain that is disappearing. The mountain of us. I hear the single word Keep, and all through the night like my reflection in the dark plate glass of the artificial lake. A radio has been left on, somewhere in the night. Which is no longer a thing. Now it is a piece of paper I could hand to you. The lake, the geese that no one wants, that no one will bury, the ice they walked on, verifying existence. Their nests, your nests. It lives inside a piece of paper. As you will, soon enough.
I hear some sort of distant emergency vehicle make a sound halfway between a horny drunk and a shaman. Foreshortened siren. Miles from here. I hear two cats fighting or consummating. Much closer, but who can tell? I hear silver leaves of Andromeda falling through the vacuum of space. In the vacuum of space, where nothing hears nothing. I am listening there. Tonight. They may land on your shoulder. They usually do. So I will think about them some more. I will be a home to the sound of their homelessness.
I go into the backyard. The lungs of the sky are dark. It is going to snow. The sparrows fly from the naked hedge to the naked Carolina Allspice bush. They thrum from one skeleton to another skeleton and tip and balance on the arcs and tops of branches like acrobats balancing atop poles in circuses long ago, circuses long underground. Still, the plates did spin. It is going to snow. The lungs of the sky are dark. I pour birdseed from a Big Gulp cup across the ground. The millet and sunflower seeds and whathaveyou deploy a galaxy. An edible galaxy. “Eat quickly before it snows,” I pray to the sparrow minds. And: “Thank you for being here,” I say to them, to the sky preparing to annihilate so much life. As if the rest of life were an audience and I an emcee. The illusion of a sort of control in charity. But we both know, Dear Reader, the desperation is mine. I come as beggar to them, the eating of their meal an alms to me. The sparrows live and die by cold, clean in their magnetic souls that draw them each to each, as they depart, as they arrive (no difference) through the snow.
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.
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.