He Used to Ride Out and Dispossess His Tenants as the Spirit Moved Him

She tried to push love through
his skin, thin like an insomniac’s
two a.m., inject it into the tiny ridges
of wrinkles or will it through age
spots gathered like sad men in strip
clubs alone, breathe it into his mouth, save
him from death sleep, speaking
to bereft only he could
see, roll it like fog down his
thoroughbread thighs,
rinsing the rigidity from his
shins, injecting
opiates in his mortified
toes, but his body
always pushed it back
out, and no amount of her
cherishing
all
the
things
could stop the chill
that came
when her surrogate
heart stopped beating
for them
and he forgot
how to
love
at all.


Not Just Romantic Separation, But Also the Death of Family Members

We survive the hours between waking
and sleeping, some stylishly, some with more
money, slinking between
problems beneath
speaking passionately, purposefully gesturing,
hand on forehead, publicly worried
about others’ safety.

Some with chests heavy, heaving
to overflow regret
or rage.

Some, without thinking,
smile at the day.


Hollywood

She tried to make herself
smaller or drown
in the words wafting
from his brother’s wounded,
gritty mouth like
a ton of wet milkweed
fluff dropped
on her chest –
the anvil weight
cartoonish.

His mother circled, a crow
full of poisoned rat – clawing,
clacking, waddling, preening in the dense
unkindness, kneading
her scar tissue
into shapeless, thorny
wads.

 


Too Rare to Die

Our men amble together tangled in shadows
of dusk, fingertips brush, sticky laughter, backs
wet, sweat trapped in the anti-curve hollow just above
belt, just before we ought not think his
ass

or where he stole his mouth, our man with more pout
and the smirk of someone shrewder, clever eyes
threatening to fill your pockets with stones and let you drown
cold

in the promises he makes and the company he
keeps, no weight or means, whole days of wondering
what he thinks, the certain myth of eternity, his
long peppered fingers reach toward without
cease.


Three Hundred and Sixty-Five (Thank You)

It’s selfish for me
to think
you gentle, assign
adjectives I need, create
a snapshot
of your hands
in my mind
just to please me.
I cannot create you
from words on a screen.

Love
grows rich outside
of reality.

Not the dirty
word love, that dry
hacking cough, scratching
the soul
in a starving
darkness
wanting desperately to please
while mostly
just needing

but

love,
swollen and heavy,
overflowing, swaying, undulating,
hypnotizing,
raw, slick and dirty
in the moistness of spring,
merciless, discordant
fungus
repeating
and
repeating
and
repeating.


Salt to Salt

In the moonless darkness of summer
the ocean breathes
under burden of cloud bank
and heat, oppressive, steaming,
she is a dog with rotting
teeth panting, whining,
and begging
for something of yours
to eat.

Neck sweating, fingers pushed
into palms like a baby, her feet
blindly sweep the ocean
floor teeming
with life imprisoned, tangled
and clinging in a world of saline
and desperate desire
to feel
all the things
we humans
try to blunt.


Softly, Gently

My love
is rosewater
and butter mint, eyes
of a thief, not Japanese
fans, large
well-written
well-played hands.

His soul, heavy
upon me, my heart
struggling, expanding.  My love
holds it safely, rolls
and sways me, rubs
substance under my
aching ribs, he
twists the time, arms
thrice around me, my right
breast is perfect
now for sleeping – sleep
of bruised lips, we sleep
like stirring.

He paints my night
sky, and blazons our waking.

 


 


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