in the mirror
is staring at the dirt on my nose.
i lift my arm to wipe the dust
off its face.
it laughs and coughs
into my lungs where its particles
shred into tiny threads
the little heart I borrowed
from the sun when gods melted gold
and wove them into a mass of blackness
floating on all seas and oceans of the universe.
we’re all living on borrowed time.
earth must bend its ways to let us flow
in its streets crowded with bows and arrows
travelling through the flesh of our souls
as we bend on our knees to let monsters
know we’re choking.
having been written into existence, i realize something important
i am not a character. no, not even in your capable hands. i am not a vessel for organized, appropriated feelings. i just want to sit here and pet the dog. i am not an emotional arc. do not chart and log my changes. i will not be surprised at the end of act two. i just want to listen to fire alarms going off in other people’s apartments. i will not escape in the nick of time. i will have no redemption and refuse to learn a lesson. i just want the plant on the windowsill to live even though it doesn’t get enough sun. i am not going to save the world. please don’t ask me to. i am not a facsimile of a memory of a person you used to know.
Watch out for the use of small things. Example: the incident
with the frying pan and the mashed potatoes
or how the wheel unhitched itself from the Hyundai
or how the howling cowboy rides the bomb
at the end of Dr. Strangelove. Each becomes
iconic of a moment’s inattention:
so many opportunities, so many reasons,
so little time. Small things accumulate.
They become the mess inside the pillow
I keep, that in its way undoes the body.
Each one also derives satisfaction
by being unmade. Soon night overwhelms us,
and evening has no meaning. While we are here,
watch for the misuse of small things. Drive with caution.
Ball Is Life
I mourn jump shots
The feeling of a fast break
Where the right pass or the right shot
Can turn the momentum from famine to feast
I miss rebounds
Controlling the pace of the game
Timely picks and backdoor screens
The eviction of a clean block
Yelling “Cookies!” as the opponent is stripped
I miss the fatigue you could get over
The fatigue that only visited and never hovered
My twenties ended halfway
And every day I live my life
With just enough to prolong the descent
To kick the can a little further down the street
Hoping this isn’t the day life comes to collect
Setu Bandha Sarvangasana: Bridge Pose
Yoga means yoke, to connect as a bridge connects disconnected land
between spirit and body because the brain pushes pain aside
like a fascist on a propaganda-inspired deleting spree.
Meanwhile, your body harbors agony: organs, muscles,
vessels become burial plots, graves trapping trauma,
grasping a ripped photo, a dropped glass.
Invisibly fragile passion evaporates into air after
final words are spoken, but the body holds onto lost pieces,
even as a home you shared with a man you loved disappears
into your rearview mirror as you drive away.
we mature burred against
the world, stabbing prying, forceful
fingertips. We open haltingly to our
surroundings, oxblood nuts tumbling pearl-like
from squirrel-furred depths. Thick shells, even then, protect
our yellow, soft insides.
Russian Roulette With Toy Revolvers
A bar. The red in Tim’s mother’s glass
disappears. Hit me again, she says.
A bar. Tim shall look after himself.
A blur. The tire swing replaced every summer
wets the muddy ground with its rain
soaked shadow. Tim blurs away in
his eyes. I am late. I should be there
with those underaged beers I promised.
We have toy revolvers that look like
a heady mix of black and clotted blood.
I wish heaven was a big ol’ splashpad
Everybody playing with smiles
What’s the opposite of being color blind?
Seeing your wholeness, I guess
Can you imagine whole people?
No scars, no chips, nothing making you lesser
Just running through the water
And never running dry . . .