Three (II.)

Un-permitted and pendulum faced
she builds from a rib
the number three
and a gentle tapping at my hip, my heart
from a disembodied hand
and you on loop, flipping an egg
bubble of yolk: fat, gold and spitting on your shirt from the cast-iron pan

the stout amorphous thing, today, is a blur of small head
perhaps boy
perhaps milk-lipped cat
perhaps girl
perhaps thick-haired shepherd, black and panting between your legs

I put these things aside.

Knowing full they serve to entertain
and fester future wounds
as Sigalit Landau
is off stage and following me,
down the aisle and into the streets,
not my friend, dancing in my room,
beside my bed, beside my body built for one.
She, the yellow ghost, here and gone again
like 600 times before I hold this stillborn to my breast

Perhaps my husband is inside his car
parked in our garage
perhaps forty-three
perhaps crying
into his large and weathered hands
where I once lived,
with a crate of paints
a jar of piss
and our phantom third.

There is a mussel drying
here in its sunlit shell,
my little fish, my love
what do I have to hold today
but this bag of ancestral salts,
and you on loop, splitting into two, then four

Tubes and tunnels, herald The Wide
the ocean has an end

someday within a little fish 

will swim another little fish



Baritone (II.)

Bathing in the whorish dawn,
hot oil and grease excretions
collect and gather,
and attempt at pillars.
Emerging are the cobbled stacks, wax stalagmites,
proud, wet,
a jagged row of beast teeth, meat cleaned.

She waits inside a ring,
a white.
She waits inside the un-fused bones
of the baby’s soft-top head.
The sky swallows its own blood, 
and she, still waiting,
paints a still-life
of the folded cloth,
the dowry,
the divorce,
and her vision of the modern man.

Strung up to dry,
her painting hangs,
between the low bleating strings,
from which the braided scales
swell and fatten,
offering no apologies.

The stand up bass
is plucking hard on its own
rather serious joy
with autonomy and authority.

Her rattles sound
inside the quiet,
inside a swaddled
terra-cotta urn.

Here: cutting tissue, chicken tendon, 

cutting mildewed clotheslines.
Here: a broken ankle dreaming high dark collars.
Here: the tongue-less bell.

Here: a bed,
a man, a night,
and the unclaimed body
of a woman.



Boys in My Car (I.)

Our uncharged devices hum
the desperate vibrations
in this vast and ugly couch
no comfort
in your blown out speaker's
sounding pop pop pop

pop when she plays her songs
like someone somewhere
down the block
is right now being shot



Memorial (V.)

The persistence of the mourning mother
remained unbroken
and endured like an ancient telephone wire,
bundled in its old-world Teflon,
threaded up in long sagging arcs,
 her copper hung clean and hidden in black
swoop-cut interruptions in the widening white,

The day the tall boy came to his sudden,
to his sudden,
something carved into her, out of her,
a hot curling coil of vigor
with which she amassed the armies of fresh, store-bought blossom bundles,
and filled in the waxing ranks 

of lit wicks
arrayed before his framed boyish face,
lean, and shaven
her boy grinning, browned and
frozen young, flushed, ever-lovely,
his navy raincoat cracking and slapping round his open smile of a body.

The visible upkeep, the vases weekly-washed,
her public hurt still pawing at the fogged glass door.
Come first snow, her photos bled their blues and were,
by her swift hidden hand,
promptly disappeared
then replaced
this time sheathed in a fine plastic skin,
this time punch-holed.
This time zip-tied to the chain link fence beside the field
where her tall boy came to his sudden.

To his sudden
in that ecstatic spinal gray,
in heaps of neural stars,
as thunderous misfirings roared and tugged
at both sides of the perforation
where he found himself eclipsed so fully
by that blessed dark
that common single-sided coin
and why today,
suddenly asleep in the shallow black mud,
and such a handsome face.

After the fact, the coy love-threads,
emerged from the other boys,
a little frayed from the journey out.
So many uglied, hardened things,
stripped of their business,
became heavy with confession and reflection.
A few escaped,
along with the heat,
through the open door the boy unwittingly left open,

Even after the green came home weeping,
came home with armfuls of more green,
weeping, weeping as the gravel swallowed the snow,
came home so sorry for ever having left
Still his mother lit her candles in the sun, kneeling on the ice,
the cracking soft below her knees, sounded
the muffled tectonic shiftings 

The mourning mother is here again, to tidy the display,
this time at four o’ clock,
and in the parking lot kids kiss, and old joy tumbles from the open car window.

Far across the empty campus,
run four stout and pretty girls,
the three
chase the one,
in wild pursuit, in full sprint
and screaming,
barefoot, breathless, glitter-tongued
in full-costume,

Girlish laughter ricochets
and skids through shut-locker corridors
play-chase and curious,
joyous and play-cry,
the easy giving,
the earnest asking,
and the begging, begging, begging
"Was it over the pants?"
"Or under?"
screaming out of one blue door

and into the open red.