i regret your life for you so your back stays straight.
this is the first birthday I wish I were dead for.
when a body dies is it then the verb rotting?, the adj. hauntingly?, or in a slang universe — “grounded” — or in the industrial present indicative, a literal dirtbag, a fleshy encasing of diluted organ, flat tissue parallel with the entrance to heaven. my father wrote me, “the dog has died. we buried her on the path to a future tense,” “where no single thing can be erased, but built,” my brother said, and the dog, from underneath, beat the feet of all of us, because he smelled the can of tuna in my lunchbox.
reworking some things for Hobart and Tin House.
the older i get, the more questions i have. that’s what i’ve noticed. i have questions about how to sew and unsew the binding of a book so that i can have one solid copy of all of my thoughts, make addendums when needed. uncomplicate and complicate my life in the way a synagogue can move its walls to accommodate the growing masses when forgiveness is to be celebrated. i also want to know why my dill plant died. i did everything the woman at the market said. i don’t want to believe it was because the plant, somehow, represented my insides, keeled over in the sun, and just called it quits. i believe it, but i don’t want to, which i also have questions about, but i know not a single person who can offer an unbiased perspective about that kind of thing. my soul, or something like that. i don’t know anyone who knows anything worth mentioning about my soul.
Your skin like dawn
Mine like musk
One paints the beginning
of a certain end.
The other, the end of a
Hey would you like some wine and eggs
I once had faith that good things would happen.
i wanted to write something about a man who clenches a piece of the earth in his hand and turns it to red, but the only place i know of with clay dark enough to bleed is the panhandle of texas, prairie gold and empty the way a place should be. i have staggered memories of time when it existed in that yellow, long drives straight through a sunset. come out the other side a mystic, or a god, or a man with a gun. my mother was mannered then, spanish fortress alone against a brown hue backdrop of sorrow and infinite flat, the vast undoing on every side of her still too far to untangle with her own hands which were always too full of liquor as it were. but i remember her back. always her back. statue of a valley too deep to uncover.
your muscles never tire from soaking up blood and your heart never ceases to pump it.