A Cargo of Green Hearts
you are enumerating all the things used to define yourself, all
the junk and sharpened spoons you carved out your little "I" with
and then imagining each taken away one by one in the crow-hearted
darkness when you are helpless and asleep strummed by the airwaves
of dreams. to wake bearing one less suitcase, one less brick
one less headdress of steel and weep maybe or search
frustratedly behind the couch but each night the claws and
silent robbery until the scaffold lies bare and you ask who built this?
and why? but no one answers I did or because and the wind
comes and goes through the tatters of your skin and at once you
feel on par with the clouds who are no longer silent but
throbbing with agency and intent, bidding you to rise and be like
them, and if you hesitate before cutting the last string
if your heart skips like a stone dancing sideways on a pond
who will criticize you? hesitation is about balance, abundant
when there is no weight left but the ohhh of the leap.
the rain haunts me
it's like remembering
days when nothing
happened but a limb snapping
in the backyard.
we filled all the cupboards
and held hands.
I wait, as if waiting by a bus stop.
the morning is quiet.
some evening, you will come to me
and the bus will have gone by.
before I had any of these thoughts
I was as still as a doll or a star
I orbited nothing but the silence
and then I was alive and suddenly an old man
it all happened so quick
there was no time, not even
for a summary. I think, though
that I shall relinquish eyes less than
any other thing, the way they tether
or pull or push at the world
with less than air and
how they shut so that even the moon
cannot reach them. as it happens
when I am again a doll or star
it is my eyes I wish to leave behind
(most choose to leave their bones
but I have promised them to the earth
from which I was loaned such firmness)
two jasper sparks, two silver buoys
two candles in an empty house
I haven't used them up yet.
as it may be for a while
let them keep looking out on
what I loved and in looking
become what they see
and in becoming, light as light
sunset, the colors like
an explosion or should we
profane it so with our
warfare and cruel incindiary
minds, knowing in memory
deeper than wounds
before gunpowder, flashburn
such color and light suddenness
would have been metaphored
Revelation or Love
or one hundred other powers
our animal souls could feel
our tongues no capacity
to name, our fingers
reduced to pointing up.
the tiger with the cripple
foot is not the enemy.
they say he wants to
destroy the boy
unwind the sticky string of his
entrails across the jungle's
dappled carpet then
reel them back into
his orange mouth. they say
the boy will kill the tiger instead
with some sharp ingenuity
as if by killing a tiger
a boy could still be a boy
and all cruelty would cease.
no. in my story there is no
death and no edge
the metaphors never concluding
but if you followed them
you'd find the boy and the
tiger both moving deeper
into the jungle where the
trees thicken like
the fingers of dreams and
bells of consciousness
drop their clappers.
horizon's vice seems to press
the two together:
is that boy riding tiger?
is that tiger wearing the
face of boy? shall you follow
and find out if it is true:
the lies people tell about revenge
and redemption and
how they unravel the
deeper into the interstices
of the trees you wander
until the dim stars themselves
wink and laugh at you one
by one before snuffing themselves
on the matte of infinite space
leaving you alone in
the dark with the sound of
the tiger's breathing
and the relentless thump of your
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