Dead beat (5 cents).
Dead pan (10 cents).
Dead dead Franklin head
Early deaths –
Casualties of the war of the changing seasons
Brings me back to a time without reason
When all I knew were the leaves and the road and my family –
My family -
We, us, together, now!
Quick, gather in front of the tree with too many decorations,
Too many forced memories –
Do you remember?
Of course I do, Momma,
I know it.
Of returning fearful from a night of supervised sneaking
Uniform series of street lamps keeping us safe
But we did not know,
Knew only the fear and the fun and the one night a year they broke the laws of all that we know and mixed against the will of the world like oil and water
“Deformed Discourse” –
The body monstrous,
Explains my professor.
But where is my body?
Monstrous – of course I know –
But the body monstrous –
The body –
I think I’m better off without.
I’ve spent two years without a body
And I only miss it when a new one begins to creep on my bones
And I want to run, run away from
The settling, the thousand sufferings manifesting themselves in the forms of slopes, rivers, valleys
Etched deeply with the urgency of the years.
Oh yes – it’s a long way back to the Garden of Eden.
Did hurricanes shake the foundations of the earth?
Did they ever cease?
We cannot see where we are going
Hurtling through the abstract of billions of collective souls
That’s a star, we say, that’s a conglomeration of gas reacting to give us heat.
There’s a planet,
Aggregations of solid matter drawn into itself –
Drawn to circling its parent material, again and again.
Does the tree feel growing pains as its Cambrian layer holds its breath and expands?
Does it take into account the thousand other entities which drain its life blood?
The rabbit doesn’t know,
Shivering in the snow beneath the drooping needles of the conifer.
The sapsucker doesn’t know,
Drinking it all,
And leaving the rest to weep down the bleeding tree.
We don’t know,
The sounds of our saws retching back and forth drown out our inhibitions.
I wonder if the last lynx
To sneak through Wisconsin
Knew it was the last,
Knew its loneliness
Knew the trail it left through the snow
Would forever haunt its disciples.
I wonder if
The swooping hawks crying out
The streamlined white tail leaping through brambles
The silent oaks painting the sky with their fingers stretched upwards –
Do they know what we have done to life, to ourselves?
Pennies clang in their cage
It hurts my head
To count every single
Moment of time wasted
Again and again
They, them, together now!
We will roll them together
And promise to promise ourselves
That it was all worth it
As they transfer from sweaty palm to shaking hand