It isn't like that.
It isn't a left turn too early,
a lark awake at night,
thick brown light in an open field;
unpredictable: a bad or counter-miracle.
It is only wanton.
You know how it is
Suddenly, something trapped between your toes:
the world has a strangled voice, it is
unroofed. You want the comfort of normal walls,
normal light, normal noise; in your hand
is a hot brand you'd halfway use
to smith it back together
and halfway swallow.
I had different plans for this vacation
I had plans. You had plans. The earth
planned its axial tilt; the weather planned
its burning; we put aside too little water.
A few plants were familiar -
pinon pine I remembered from the placard
that explained its yen for standing alone.
One lonesuch tree that made a little niche
and defied anything. Now dead, too.
How we thought we could fare better, I cannot say.
Ten feet up by one hundred feet over:
one liter water per mile climbed:
The quiet supremacy of all these rules for living like
and the peristalsis pulling down
huge loads of sunlight
into the ***** gully
like bread and meat.
If blood I am, then what kind of blood?
Unsettled and unsettling. The circulatory system
has an apt name: sometimes I can feel yesterday's blood
in the same neurons, saying the same thing.
I have no choice but to repeat it.
Time sheds its significance.
I have no continuity:
I have rhythms.
Erosion: isn't that what made these furrows?
I beg it to unmake me
flat like a seabed and many fathoms green
where the sun will never reach me.
In the penumbra of your anger
I do not fear dying,
only dying unacquitted:
heights are all the same.
They would all break me and none would.
The grasshoppers and gecko hatchlings
all die in their way, rubbed against the hot dry dust.
Parched, I gnash my chipped stone teeth
and tongue of chaparral - I am making
a song that says
die with me
but smile at me.
Then I see it through flashes of temper,
frame by frame, like a fingertip behind a pinwheel:
a dream of something abstract that is also true.
Dreams of freedom alongside dreams of dying.