Our home is burning.
Moths and lilies are breaking the woodwork.
They are fluttering closer to our fumbling feet.
Your grandmother’s wallpaper has never looked so beautiful.
I used to spend my nights in the silence between the sofa cushions,
Trying to organize the history of anarchism,
Wondering why the persimmons had been bitter to us,
And why you could not distinguish stones from bread.
On the day God decided to forsake virgins,
I went off to the market, closing the door behind me softly.
Our foundation disappeared behind me.
Somewhere, I believe, you are still dancing.
When they came to bury us there was nothing left.
The raspberries were not in season.
(It was November, after all)
I emptied my body for you.
Preparing for the monsoons,
I let you fill me with sand,
Up the toe, ankle, calf, knee--
I stood guard against the waves,
And protected the house you took her into.
Editing past drafts and combining lines
You are there in my morning coffee,
I can’t keep it down.
You may not know my name,
But I was the witness on the ballot.
When he’s standing in your doorway
Recognize that once he was
Scouring the cracks in the blacktop,
Picking pansies with the weeds
And clumping them together to declare
The love letters he had written along the sidewalks,
Blue chalk sprawling beside her walk home.
And one day he was standing before her desk,
A medley of a bouquet lodged under his fingernails,
That he took to be the most beautiful piece of art.
Lips slightly chapped, chest rising quickly,
In a moment of unadulterated courage he ****** his arms forward
To present the best offering he could.
And all she saw was the dirt.
I. The Beginning
In September she gave you a name
That came with weights and burdens
To break into.
Straightforwardly, you marched them.
As if it were the only thing to do.
II. The Middle
Four miles beyond the confines,
You left in the morning to gather the water.
I was told somewhere along the way you
Fell in love with the aftermath of a line,
And began a new life in its crooked symmetry.
III. The End
I don’t know if she hoped for a life of grace,
or love, mercy, or passion.
Regardless, it is all ok somehow.
There is something to knowing that, when it is over, we may go forward
And start afresh in the broken ranks.
I led a loveless life for three days,
Found the edge of a shoe
That I took to be God
Turned towards it
And under the sole I returned.