If I am half of you
who am I alone,
what is a body?
Sea stars make
they have to
mindless of I,
in the shadows.
We named you before we knew you,
as it is our nature to do,
for from your form
alone we cannot grasp
the outline of your future path.
Even orchids have clumsy
families and orders
that fill our mouths
with consonants, vowels,
leaving no likeness
of beauty divergent,
peculiar and plain.
The scalloped lips
open to quietly defy
this word we say,
the unknowable name.
Here is no map only
a compass of spiritless stars.
Cast your eyes in a black pond
to trace and carve your gods.
I imagine you sent out
into the wilderness
drawing lines in the pitch
as the stars flick on,
a canopy of animals
you croon to sleep,
content as yet to
dream no dreams.
THE SHAPE OF SOUND
I emit a cry. Reverse time:
reverberated echoes pitch into
my canals as I fly. The vibrations
of location are constantly unstable;
they hurtle through fog with blinding
speed. Sable ears eat and in my constant
need to see shape, I repeat and repeat
my sight cry until I think I might die,
my leathery arms beating the black
expanse of a holepunched sky.
Pinpricks of light leak in where
I have been. Deaths fill my will;
I am insatiate and hunger during
the night. Nocturnal, my flight is
drunken. In one moment I have risen
and sunken, snatching bits of cloth
from the air. They taste of sheets.
They are white, flaky sweets, heated
snowflakes that moisten and ripen
to the blooming delight of the taste buds.
Such snippets flood the senses
in dose after dose, all asunder.I wonder
if I’ve made a blunder and am feasting on
the ghosts of fluttering flowers,
unfurling under these pale moonlit hours.
I’ve scoured the night with a consuming
sight, crying out and devouring
throughout the night from a dizzying
height; yet I sense a presence that is
a gift to me, that could be my
eyes where I flap blindly. Why
does she hurdle ahead at a lone
street lamp? Her hundred eyes
remain dry in this dread damp
that stains the air, that melts
in particles, kissing, touching,
nowhere. She is shaped like
whiteness fair, a single tissue tutu
dancing in wet air: a violent ballet,
a lovely display. She seems
to have no ears, only two curves,
two limblike antennae. I should
consume her and mate her senses
to mine. She would hear; I would
not be blind.
I am a dusty aerialist; flakes
of me flutter residually; I am not
a fusty imagist. I do not mold.
I do not believe I shall grow
so old, and I am dry. You will never
see me cry, you will never see me green.
I am not spiteful, I am not mean.
I am a light white thing, with albino
gypsy wings that wander in cycles
and seem to swing crazily towards
this beam, this electric moon. It hums
to me constantly and I am wired,
I am all fired up by its promise of stability.
It is a spark, dangling in a bowl of glass
from a metal rod. It is a god against the
dark mass of sky, and I wonder why
I am not allowed to fly inside if I
am pure and dry. I have not cried.
I have been the shape of blankness.
An unused tissue leaves no residue;
purity is the most sincere frankness.
Give me this death, this light, this
bliss I flit my many eyes against,
knocking wildly and yes, I’ve sensed
that the filament in it is trapped. It is
shocking to me it can adapt in its
glass, but I cannot get in to live
or die, to be loved or be dried, and I
would try. Flickering, flying, I imagine
love is like dying, an all-consuming
lightness that will descend into
falling. In-between the daze
I think I feel him calling:
a sound overtakes me, a metallic
luster that shakes me more to the
core than any quake. I split into
levels that tremble and shiver
at variations and intervals, in
colors: shining blues and reds,
mostly, watercolor slews in my
head, transparent and ghostly.
I’ve been diluted, my wings are muted.
I fall to the call. It is always in me,
it has always been me, or I’ve never
been loved at all.
He comes; he is all tongue.
I am lidless, I cannot close
my eyes. This wetness must
be forced tears; I flake the
dust of damp fears—this is
what it means to cry.
Gleaming gleaned at this point:
Impaled on the clenched teeth.
In the air, all is fair, with a whole
world beneath. This is the above
love, the consummation in great heights.
See the whirring of trailing lights.
I love you, I hate you,
I want you, I take you,
I kiss you, I break you,
I spit you, I ate you
I am in you
( you are in me )
I cocoon you
( you can spin me )
Caught and drunk in the draught,
sunk and sought in the tongue
of a speechless yet mindful thought-
this is the falling of loving and dying.
I have been spun inside of love, have not
been above it or outside it as I thought.
I am caught and dried. I have died as
I have fallen into a light love; this bliss
of a dark spark is one we two are not above.