A Cargo of Green Hearts
that I am dying is no surprise;
the tide came in this
morning but never meant to stay
time tips even the reaching trees
the trusty sky rescinds its blue
pillows to make way for falling birds
like a prankster yanking out a chair.
some people save for retirement but
I'll die poor having banked only
kisses, swallowed them like
how warm they've felt
in the leaning fall nights
but now it's time to send them away
in letters sealed with the tip
of a tongue. it's like turning a wallet
upside down. the entire attached
world thinks you're mad.
in memory you are glowing
in the sunset off the coast of Burgeo
the berries never ran out that day
we were so full we tossed the rest
into the sea. but I could
never get enough of your
face. such small food, so rare
when everything is so full
years later it feels just as good
to be hungry, starving a little
for your touch. it's tragic how
in dying we learn the reason
why we are not permitted
to live forever:
we waste so much,
we have not learned how
to clean our plates.
in the time before time
there was moss
everything as if
a kind hand drew
along a shivering naked
sleeper a beryl
gown from the sea
and the sleeping went
on and on in the moss
so deep so soft
sweet lullaby, lover you
could lay upon it your
knife-nicked heart, out of
your chest spooned
and set down an offering
to the green blanket
to like a kitten curl
and purr for a million years
thence once upon a time
to wake to the vertical hymn
of trees reaching
to weave their twigs
through delicate air.
good bye beautiful
aviator, I won't
make this about me
your grief is too fast
already gone, your eyes
like licked shut envelopes
while I still
trudge along complaining
too sad to keep up.
I left your damp feathers
alone, didn't deserve
them, not a single one.
maybe, as a kid, you were told that if you died the
wrong way, full of unopened baggage
& screeching tires your soul would be devoured
by crocodiles. and that--if you had any imagination--
would not be the scary part, no, the scary part
is you thinking that if your spirit can be devoured,
die, then maybe your spirit's spirit can also die
and so on, think about it there could be crocodiles
all the way down. I've had weeks like that, it's true,
days without bottom. the trick is to believe something else
even if it's foolish
if you're tired of feeling sorry for all those crocodiles.
my story has flamingos and love. I'm a silly man.
I make mistakes, show up late to funerals. someone made
me out of clay and it's true I look more & more like a bear
every year. I'm good with crocodiles, though.
I know the secret word that will make them
dance in their shiny hides. here, it's for you. I'm tracing it
on your cheek. as is true with any magic or love
you have to be an lunatic for it to work.
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