To be shaped by love, know first
How it destroys.
To know how it destroys,
Recognize love as a physical act.
To recognize love as a physical act,
Consider the body's limits and transgressions.
To consider the body's limits and transgressions,
Probe it for signs of anomaly. Of creatureness.
To probe, start by using your fingers to poke
Regions where illusions are cooked, like the groin.
To locate the groin, slither your hand from mouth
all the way down until you feel dirt.
Once there, dig. The mush will feel soft and wet and grisly
And delicious. Like exile. Feel around for a thin chord.
Once you get your hand on this chord, pull. Pull very hard.
Like you're born to unstitch. Or turn off a light. Or flush.
Your body will split open like a thick *** of paper bills
fresh off a rubber band hug. And your remains
Will flutter like a flag. Notice the bone marrow in bloodspeck
jangling in wind chime language to announce an arrival.
Your arrival, maybe. But what is left other than your body splayed
open? Notice your meatshop bargain delicacy. Limbs as vivid
As a freehand sketch artist's depiction of alive. It sounds so beautiful,
Love. Especially in Springtime.
Stale air, claustrophobe—
a terrible fit for a coffin,
he can languish here.
A good warmth, the kind
you feel after bourbon
deep in your chest, yes,
a very good warmth—
the kind you won’t find here.
Here, is where, as gentlemen say,
“the wicked rest”
as there is, indeed,
no such rest for men like that.
I am wicked, I suppose,
wicked in my own way, so
I deserve the test.
I will languish here.
after Ansel Elkins
Carabao **** isn't permafrost,
temperature, disdain — climates
stirring into a tornado soup
of force, melting, seclusion.
In the heartbeat of gulls,
the waves gargled froth and
spat on charred limestone.
Then the grass beneath our
wet feet writhed in the
slice of wind atop the hills
of Hiyop, in Catanduanes
where roads go unmoored from
their skiffs like violin
strings curling under sharp
slide. You can invent a new
word to describe transformations,
but these will never catch it
in the act — the moment
vibration somersaults into
howl, when swinging grass
is louder than jetplanes
then suddenly quieter than
prayer. I like to dig my thumb
into the soft marsh, dirt
occupying the folds, creases;
labyrinthine pathways of skin
blanketed with Earth.
At this point the mountain
and I dare to know the
mountain but come short, reaching
only its narrow berms,
and ****-ridden sheath of
dry flowers cooking the
words to a song of its