The Beloved Others
In dreams we turned on the lumpy mattress
to spoon It was a fluke we slept ourselves
We missed the eclipse of the harvest moon
after lightning struck the elm Past this age
our luck will yellow to a cadence bound
in rhyme or hearing reverb’s slack echo
empty noise stuck in time
—roommate’s boot crunch travel over gravel
Before the strip club he drank a whole wine
spritzer party ball He mocks our blooming
onion—mocks the wine bar in the strip mall
His bedtime disaster? Stove top—burning butter
Dirt path through the thicket rotting plums molder
Upright and apart we surrender
to the sun. To the end I’m the other
witness to shrug. We officiate debt,
we bury change on tiptoe. Her cooling
bread—cultured tomato. I praise raw youth
purple with scheme, I catch full ball, yield
music free. Before her waking she ate
church linoleum. Luck-lack stuck-drank struck—
fluke, mocks yellow. By oven success or raw
poverty’s meat dough. Rotting-plums, burning—
butter, missed-eclipse, molder. By design
I grape flatter, blooming onions—surrender.
Passing, she applaud both phone booth & empty road;
we stop at the parking lot where waxed apples grow.
I Erased Her Then We Erased Each Other
Why resembles why when I say there’s need.
Just look, an entire paper fruit in my hand.
If I had one in my body I would know why.
Church is all chant, tongues or holes to be filled
like naked albatross have to wear monsters
of the word, and like that painting of fog
that fill the sailor with drink, I party
with hair, eyes in the woods, in the night, man.
Sex is what the mouth eats itself. The things
a smile means. What do fertility rites know
of the world? I wish to say nothing,
to make a new version of eat, but boobs
when I see them bring on wonder. I fall
under a funny word.
The color as tools are really black
the sound of rubbing feathers
peacocks hear. Maybe first love as spring
not summer, not autumn, but achieves
an I love and not at all attached
to I smell her poetry wet with promise
of boob, like blood, meat stained pink.
I guess what happens when what happens faces
the sun. I never turn into an old man.
I want to hold her and soon enough, sheesh.
Not man, saint, sheep when I started standing
on the chair, found I slipped after the time
I told her I’d change. Only peacocks hear
the ring of wanting to pull apart.
Next Time Choose the Switch
Times dad whooped my ass with the belt
the whistle of leather played a mute note
like a flung knob of mashed potatoes sliding
down the grease-stained cupboard door.
In the lull while he rested, the dull
fluorescent hum was no balm, though I tried
to stay, no, to live inside the moment he
re-clenched his grip. The belt played
a new one, chopped out a staccato
rhythm where the leather rubbed his calloused
hand. Its squeak more bass than our two
Styrofoam ice chests jostling against each other
behind the back seat of the baby blue Suburban
as we drove over a washboard dusty desert road.
Between buzzing waves where welts wore,
where once I thought my ass was, I can’t
even remember what the original crime was.
Was I late home for dinner? Had I trashed
dirt clods the neighbor’s cherried-out
aquamarine boat-tail Riviera? No, that was
long past. When he sighed and said
five more I wished I had chosen the switch
which I would have cut too thin, and which
by now he’d have snapped then cursed