Our Poisoned Tree
Creep near me
my poison tree.
My mouth your earth,
Choke me quiet.
I will chew your bitter bark.
I will soak your dirty sap.
We will shush beneath
a fleece of blanket,
gather warming fire sticks
and slowly sew
some wordless leaves.
We will be such slumber babes.
Webbed shut together sticky sleeping,
thread of whisper from your lips
and to my sucking sucking lips.
my vacant mouth.
To be continued, maybe, maybe just to stay a piece of space.
Waking later in that train of points, new and bloody.
Moved across the sick flat world and to your marriage,
to that point. To your children later.
The point at which
a bad black mark was dropped to water spread by spread.
A blatant point,
ugly with the red mess of my living body.
My very own.
But I’ll always lie and be here for you.
I am caught, and stuck, and always poisoned,
just like you.
You are the blank face of a mountain,
the crisp edge of a voice cold in the mountains.
Ice clear, beautiful as a bell.
I lie awake and imagine the route
I would take through you, there are so many paths.
They are enchanted and starlit.
You are a wild yellow tree,
up in the stratosphere.
Clattering and generous, beautiful as fruit.
I lie awake wondering how you breathe the sparse air.
You do not live here, you barely live anywhere at all.
It is thin and intoxicating for me.
You are a lake,
hanging in a hole in the earth.
Round and thirsty, beautiful as a globe.
I lie awake imagining how much of me you will drink.
Where will I be in your deep teeming water?
I swim far too deeply, breath becomes a death.
You are a hospital,
square and gratuitous.
My bloody scars are like bracken, beautiful as pins.
I lie awake and wonder how I know the map through you.
In each of your deathbeds I feel filthy and small.
There is always another one coming.
Old Flames Burn
This woman is an island, I said,
sea washing me.
Over my dried corn grass, and over my tree.
This woman is an atoll, I am standing out to sea.
Delight, the sea pouring from your mouth at me.
Words that might drown me!
Vivacious, salacious, delectable,
words that will swamp me.
Bring me back to sea.
Where this woman is a pillar.
Ruins, from a while ago,
on an island out to sea.
Chalk and sandstone, broad and sunny.
Small daisies tall and scrappy,
thistles in the warmest of cracks.
Snugly smiling out to sea.
Back on my island, back on my beloved island!
I hug my walls to myself in my flat stone palms.
I smile the curve of my coastline with my sandlicked lips.
I sing my birdsong out of a sharp beaked throat.
Several suns pass by over my head.
The rest of them are reflections, sunflare, aurora.
The land is in sight,
I have spent all year swimming to it and
all year I have gotten somewhere that is almost nowhere at all.