Melt with me in dry rivers
against saguaro lined trails
until night slices in slivers;
fractals of sage and coyote tails
howl against saguaros and Hohokam trails
where a fingernailed eclipse
fractures an image of sage brushed tails
in a rhythmic tune stoked on melodious lips.
A fingernail moon splinters an arid eclipse
as stars and clay erode, fading to dust
circles in hummed tunes on July-desert lips.
Pink-purple fingers stretch across dusk
until the parched night crescendos in slivers
and melts away in me, filling beds and dry rivers
with the stars and burnt clay, eroding to dust
as pink-purple fingers strum out a song in the dusk.
Inspired by “The Burning Giraffe” by Salvador Dali
I am defined by what clutters my drawers:
• Aortic—a tattered matchbook with a phone number I never called
scrawled to the inside cover as an inscription to everything
I never wanted. A half-empty can of butane with a missing
cap alongside a dollar’s worth of pennies that weight a scrap
torn from a newspaper tragedy: four killed, faulty smoke
detectors to blame.
• Ankle—a charred picture, curled in upon itself and kept as a reminder
of what I could become; a blackened nest as an omen of
losing all I’ve ever known and an ointment tube, squeezed
in the middle as a talisman against blistering tempers.
• Thigh—an empty Zippo with a scarred case, dull and pointless; a coiled
stove element with an ashen haze that could testify that water
doesn’t douse all flames; and an oily fuse, plucked from the top
of my head to serve as a yardstick of minutes, seconds, then
• Knee—a fine layer of charcoal dust and half of a briquette from last
summer’s backyard barbecue when the wind kicked up to spray
red embers into the air like a meteor shower, streaking in bright
sparks and fluttering to shrieks and stop-drop-rolls along dry grass
until the itching ceased and the bubbles formed in small foamy
patches along arms and strapless backs and sun-red cheeks.
May I borrow your wing on the wind;
I’d like a different perspective, a little yesterday,
because the selection I have is too personal.
Earth-bound and clumsy, freedom is feathered
black against cotton and clairvoyance.
To rat-a-tat messages with a Morse code beak
along walls and windows
maybe even a chamber door just to send
paranoid delusions swarming into skies
filled with blue and bruise and sleek glossy
plumes beating the breeze with death
or the life of your choosing.
I long for that and all that comes tapping
in sugary sprinkles lined with silver,
turn eyes overhead at the forecast; no luck,
no rain, no superfluous visions from above
and still, I’m sprawling blind—nested too close
to be rusty at eating seeds or worms
(whichever is easier to swallow)
any suggestion as to the preparation is welcome.
Are you still there, my fire,
still bleating under floorboards
and making me sweat? Confess all,
that I have murdered a bird, swept
under rug way too many lint balls to justify
or whatever the crime. May it haunt me
in pencil shavings or you in hand cramps—
both get curled up in the end
on the last page: you, me
and all that damned squawking.
Can we just start over again, again, again
because I’m just not getting it right.
It looks like French curves swerving
around the Corvus, fan-tailed or not.
Please, help. Even if it means
pecking my carrion fingers. Please.
Let me bleed away the pulp
and alight imagination.
Dawn stretches and yawns
in yellow, poking fingers
through vertical blind slats;
into my horizontal eyes.
like an ice cube slipping down spine,
painful and exhilarating
at the same time and maybe
I’m not ready to shove myself out.
Let me be metamorphic for awhile,
lie back in this brightness
and soak it in; let me radiate
warm throughout the morning,
cheerfully light at noon
and erode to dust in the night
so that it all may cycle again
like moon chasing sun,
serpent slurping tail
or a dog whirling circles in the dirt.
I want to swirl, right here
in comfortable cotton, nighttime
peace and the wreath that early Dawn
weaves into me. Let me be centered
in the centrifuge: the stone in the storm.