Cereal

Soggy sweet
cereal bowl
a pocket-sized heartbeat
with a sunny coat
and pink lemonade nose
patters on my lap

Feet up on the balcony
a grocer down below
perhaps a friend
or husband
time slows
and rides the tails of summer clouds
through a pale pool
gliding
sedated with light

Soggy sweet
banana slice
cut like my mother
in an ageless kitchen
against her finger
with her polished thumb
that swoops like a gleaming slide—
we make a solid landing
hardly any dirt on the laces
then muck it up
splashing in skimmed milk rains

And though peace has not chosen me
I have chosen it
be it fictitious
a wish
drawn from ornate obsoletion
and less likely possiblys
sugar still grinds
between my teeth
and the pain
from a once existent cavity
is wonderful and dizzying.

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Shift

Here on the hill
we crane our necks
obsessed
with our proximity to the stars
to the extent we do not notice

our shadows
thrown by dead light
are paralyzed
robbed of their nature to
‘shift!—’ the valley people say
‘before the waters in your spine
crystallize’

in a language we were birthed with ears for
‘shift!—’ I hear them call
from down where the only light
comes from the spark of exchanged words
hitting together
from the glow of skin
touching skin
from laughter
bursting in the grasses:
never current
only present

oh, how I long to lower my head
and tumble down to the warmth of the living
but my neck has been like this
too long
and I forget how to command
myself.

Differently, Say More

The winds of your walk
do not disturb even a wing-ed ant
from its stroll beneath a windowsill
but I feel them always
pulling round corners and halls
shafting under doors
and through unseen cracks
and now—ruthless:

they thrashed and beat upon my side
thick with heat
you sunlit thing
emerging

my composure downed in a swift gulp
spread coolness through your chest
a coolness dismissed;
perhaps you were not even parched
but sunlit things drink
and, sunlit, you drank

and then, your voice
ice water threshed
onto once evenly-blooded cheeks
it ran into my collar
a tickling itch
but itch I could not
focus—
your questions were blinding

r-regret

perhaps I should have asked your name
perhaps you would have said it differently
you say everything differently
oh, differently, say more:
a phrase
a word
a syllable

scorch my brow a short while longer
the wind is no trouble, I’ll tie my hair
I’ll temper to the shock of your voice
and care not how my cheeks feel to the touch
as long as the touch is

yours I am not
and yet I am not my own
either.

Until Night Calls

For a moment, my shadow slips from me;
when I find her
she is standing at the screen door
before the blues and oranges
and lets the wind pass
right over her
her hair does not move

but above, the stars give a sleepy shiver
still nesting in the curve of the sky
where they will stay until night calls upon them
to fall and burn away her outline
to scatter her

I feel incomplete, but I don’t disturb
I let her stand
and watch the colors
and perhaps feel some kind of feeling
she is but a projection
I thought
but it seems it is not she who is shaped from me
but me who is shaped from her
and she is the saddest
most brave thing.

Cartridge

Linguists know better
than men with guns
that ammunition is not just for uniform
of fabric and seam
but for that of skin
ever-stretching and ever-buttoned
cleaned but never washed.

A cartridge for powder
a cartridge for ink
your pen is heavy:
release
and make bleed.

A Favor

And trapped under the crushing weight
of a bed sheet
I ask a favor of
the passive yellow fields
and stifling denims
of my dead skin cells
that feed the crawling, unseen things
of the crumpled car
with ripe roses
mangled in the naivety of its bumper
of a word count
that thrives with the passion of dwindling wind
hardly stirring the ash
on neglected cigarette receptacles

oh May
don’t roast me like an overturned beetle
and daze me with the glint of compact mirrors
put me on my feet, May
you please
spare my mind.