string fourteen

my name
goes behind
your name

*

see     this string’s
an umbilicus
between names

*

here      a conch we found
swimming to a sandbar
one evening,         1971

*

the rosy blush
to its helix
never fades

*

the words
change their shapes
now

*

in your mouth
“blue”
is difficult

*

mouth     moss
other     mother
nature

*

I find you
you find me
the conch

*

when I sleep,   you sleep
under a sandbar
swimming away

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There is a society of words

There is a society of words
It’s a sorcery of branches
There are crossings and snarls and interlacings
Of a sort of society
These are branches underwater
So-called friendships
Mostly ghastly traffic
A traffic of frogs kicking their legs
Under the earth of the water
The motes of it that color
And screaming birds
The flashier males shows off their iridescent trains
Underwars
Some of them have green eyes
Yellow eyes from long resentment
You must have the nose of a dog
I mean a snout
You become pretend basic
You become for real basic
You drown in the emptiness
Of what you can’t forgive yourself

You are a poet because you cannot speak

Words

The words happen,
predestined to be years.
Sometimes they fur like moss.
Sometimes they drain our blood.
Sometimes they fall as hammers
on the house’s roof itself
and through.

The words happen,
and we want to think they have ears.
They listen to us, they learn
to mimic us.
Strange, bloodthirsty little pets
we can surely tame.

And here we are moving on,
and where will they go,
our little loved ones,
domesticated things
we must turn out of doors,
return to all wildness

from whence they came
to play house a while.

And still we smile to remember

how they crossed our threshold,

fleet of wild foot

and their friendly little fangs.