i made myself from rocks
shells              birds                       insects trees
           mountain        and ocean
i made myself           as you have    carapace
this is an autobiography of fractures
this is a field guide to a field guide
to identity that      muscular slap of light
Part propeller, part rock,
all water-music. Part glue

and the bruised stories
of winter I can’t shake.

Strange clouds plummet
behind the fence

of last night’s dream
where I held

a flower’s tongue hostage.
I house tiny

houses of shadows.
They buzz behind

my eyes, and never blink.
But me? These days

I’m losing more
and more of my goodness.

I’m scratching my ghosts.
Part of me decides

to split. Part of me uneven
and a razing new color.
My spirit far reaching in the purple far reaches

There are times, like now, when it’s fading, I can feel it

But my friend wants to know how I bring it all around,
how I bring it all together, make it coherent,
ground the billion fragments on the fat
of this planet                  I am a cow-in-the-mud is his implication,

but I would like to be a bird, as all of this shows,

weightless with wormwooded feeling,
beyond good and evil, both greenish and close

And outside, my daughter laughs unselfconsciously,
the exhaustion in her voice spilling
onto the porch steps                She plays until she passes

out—every single day               Even the white-sheeted rain
doesn’t stop her         Nightfall doesn’t stop her
Hunger doesn’t stop her            As with all too willful things,

hers is a force of reckoning, a source of abandon—
we should listen, and abandon the world, especially this one,

for all the new noises and some small number of old ones
you are          terrified
we are also               terrified, terrific
there, the smell of wildfires
there, the smell of well water
what are there are what are those
smells: a crisis of privatization
we can’t know―increasingly
we understand our words
as we hear them we are
increasingly private: crisis, silent
the smells and social use, mine
the industrialization finally
disintegrates let’s construct
some together time: an underwater
ride: this is not addressing you
this is addressing a finite significance
your intimacy is such that I’d like
yours, truly
I sleep

to the sounds

of a white

noise machine

in the dream

the moon is the shape

of your lips

in its light

my machine

to curate a chapel we put our hands together and blew
in warmer latitudes a glimpse of ocean mouth
the sea-green beyond finger steeple

a self of units
song a decorated structure
any starling
any rattle

we migrate from saltwater
any of creeping various
the body of the lower
amatory, saclike
family of egress
in the face of glow
standards        some drunk

we bring out
the good friends

and really
maraud behind the scenes

replete with fumbled
             echoes from the cave
of our words

to go romance
anywhere         afraid

there must be
a lawnmower I pull
out                 my ghosts with

everything                even
us moving like a city

                     Dream at night always
of your loved ones in danger. Wake
tangled in the gauze of your sheets.
Draw yourself a hot bath. Unhood
the windows. It’s becoming harder
and harder to tell whether the motion
detector has been triggered or it’s already
morning. Try to practice your breathing.
Let the day open up to you with the hiss
of automated doors. Find something
in the near distance to look forward to.
Hold on. Even if the boot is crushing
your fingers. Hold on. It’s not the fullforced
crush of anxiety that makes your
legs do that aching thing, that tenderizer
thing, that feral, fidgeting thing. It’s
the protocol, the tools of the trade, the
glare of the moneybright capitol. Fuck
protocol. Fuck the tools of the trade.
Fuck the lone animal bullshit, the
survival of the fittest. Fuck the lions in
the millions, the billions, the abasement
and ache of the blindly entitled. Distrust
the unconflicted, the unaccountable, the
unworried, the unwounded. Distrust
your own impulse to leave your love in
the ruins. Your pain is not the only pain,
not the worst pain. Your guilt is not the
only guilt, not the worst guilt. If the
cop says the thirty-year-old musician he
shot dead on your block was drunk, was
belligerent, was reaching for the gun,
be immortally suspicious. Pay closest
attention to who shifts the wind. Always
wonder what exactly is burning so close
on the air. Smoke, now ghost-smoke,
now gone. Listen everywhere, to every
one, always. Make reckless, bloodbright
basement music. Make blackout bedroom
make-out noise. Make language like
nosebleeds and rug burns and snakebites
and shiners. Language like warm hands
on warm chests, between warm legs. Fail
ardently. Fail gloriously. Fail over and
over and over again.
This is not about being rescued.
So forget those scarves

you’re running up the chimney.
Texas two-step back across the sitting room.

I don’t have a chair to offer,
but we can share this velvet ottoman.

We can face each other
and move like splitting cells,

discuss our sexy mitosis.
Mitosis. Mitosis.

In time, everything about us will change.
Let’s not die here like this.

You want some of the purest things.
I could have baked a fine cake

had I known;
I could have candied some ginger.

Give me your lampshade
and I will build a lamp for you

in case the power goes.
We can play clapping games

and spark
and spark.
A little backward masking never hurt
anybody      Mercy and grace are things
we can make           Catch and release

Big breath in the trees
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