Poem; or, The Artifacts
March 1, 2008
Mar 1, 2008
It was the day after the stories had been told.
Impossible details scattered on the shore.
Inscribed turtle shell. The inner-ears’ bones.
Nets abandoned in the foam. A green crown
The sun dropped on the horizon the sun’s
Abdicated throne. A ringing in the air:
A wooden stick circling a bronze bowl’s rim.
Did the planets still work above the haze?
Sitting on a stone a man tonelessly spoke
Rumors. The air is stamped with the form
Of articulated speech. I listened.
Who am I to judge? I asked myself aloud.
The camel’s head broken off at the neck
Brayed soundlessly. Only the glaze bled.
Only the gaze bled. Green lines tracing paths
The animals wandered among the stones.
Nothing could be lost. The salt in my mouth
The same salt in the air a kind of stress
Crystallizing into song. The stripped bride
Stood a body wholly body her feet in foam.
The ionic disruption of the veil. Lightning
Occurred in everyone’s face. I watched.
A bird carried a shingle in her mouth.
A lantern buried in sand gives shadow
Given the illuminating gas.
I remembered without wanting memory.
Birds that nested in hollows the waterfall
Carved a falling veil in stone as it fell.
A tendril in the labyrinth. The thistle
Amazed the arbor. Thinnest green
Vine enmeshed in burr an intimate
Script illegible. Little riddles in the ruins.
What do you carry that you never held?
The foam still foam on her feet she stood
Gazing at plastic bags caught in branches.
Thank You stamped in cursive on a sphere
Full with wind. Another globe green
With algae the water suspended overhead.
Worlds with worlds inside. I held her to me.
Beneath her navel her vulva’s pronounced
Lips. Thumbs rubbed away her nipples.
The old goddess on her back in the sand.
The eye’s habit convinces the mind that fog
Is imprecise. To open and to see. Wakefulness
Was that other life. Cricket in the desert
Spoken from cloud. Cricket in the desert
In a child’s voice. When I opened my mouth
I tasted the cloud. So I’ve learned I live here too.
My mouth was another scrap in the fog.
Now let me praise the keeper and his thought.
If I could calm myself down to my animal life.
If dust on old hymns. If weather as song.
Rumor prefaced history. The son stole
The crown. Hooves in blueshift. Infantry.
An ear listening for a tremor in the ground.
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March 01, 2008