Sarcophagus Water

Life is a lot
a loom
a lake a lyre
a liar full
of bitter liquids and dim replies
Your eyes met my
eyes in a burning man
telling me my right
was to be wrong.

I drink
sarcophagus water
to be closer to
the dead, my ancestors
my enemies, my friends
my liver, soaking myself
in bile. I died biliously
a bigger bugger
you’ll never find,
but a better biter
does not exist.

Western Pennsylvania

More than just coal dust and old racism,
we are a land of concrete and rebar
spread out over rolling hills
and the corpses of forests.

More than just hard hats and cold beds,
we are lost daughters in the back yard
calling out to God, but not too loudly
in case the neighbors should suspect.

More than just slots and numbers,
we are a members-only gambling night
held by the booster club at the PTA meeting,
and the school board always wins.

More than just or evil,
We are complicated
by our pasts and futures,
and as we O.D.
and lick shots
and fade away,
we will live on in this cold earth.

Too, Love Is

Love is a many legged beast
with too many knees
that turn at odd angles and
scratch with bristles the soft
underbelly of the earth,
living down below the surface
of our insecure home bodies.

It moves weirdly, wildly
stabbing and scrabbling and clinging to places it should never go.
A mind of its own but collectively fleshy,
it likes to say that it lives in our hearts,
but we know the truth,
as we know many lies,
that the cognitive consciousness maintains itself electronically
even if chemicals are all that we have.
It sticks
in our heads
like a smell or a short chorus,
substantial but often without substance.

They say, don’t bury your dying before they’re dead.
Colloquial wisdom would have you wait
and water their souls with your waiting
and watch your waiting self to make sure
you’re not waiting too impatiently or obsequiously.
Just wait until the perfect moment,
take your shovel in hand,
and dig a hole for yourself while you’re down there.

A Wake

The sun rose in my bedroom this morning.
I breathed its ions through a metal framework
of dust and particulate matter of the past,
my past,
our past.
You’ve never been here
but you go everywhere with me.

My room lights by gradients,
red to orange to yellow building gloriously
its fake tints and holy similarity,
my dim lids lipping through flip shows
and gumming the meal of morning.
I am still.
I am awake.
I am still awake.
I never slept.

Is sleep death? You haunt me
day and night. Not a dream
or a nightmare, but present
behind the corner of my eye
in the corner of my room
turning my head,
catching my gaze
but never showing me what you see
what you want me to see.
Where are we?

 

Decentered

There is an affect deeper than the sun’s over the horizon of the prairie.

There is a longing wider in the middle than the whole of the ocean from the deck of the fisherman’s boat.

There is a ghost called the past that is more present than my lover’s sighs which mingle with the wind and whip through me unfelt.

I am a monster more egregious than all the bloody teeth in the nightmares of children and the damaged.

We are a mystery cloudier than the distance between this lifetime and the next.

The mind is a problem, and there are no mathematics robust enough to calculate the ways in which I can hang myself from my own cerebellum.