Wednesday, January 6, 2010

writing exercise number 16

I will give back the armless engineer
I put in my pocket,
his moustaches curling in the dark,
over my lips, thick as secrets.
The songless egg I put my thumb through
The naked heads of the mice before they went under,
The cat I left in the tall grass, the ruined house

The bloody girl by the carnival stone
The envelope of money behind the bar
The purse left behind in a phonebooth

every broken window, every brick
every dumpster fire, every kicked mailbox
every candy bar, every book, every breath
blood daisies, gravestone roses, concrete saints
the furniture of churches
how many pounds of salt?
How many hours of your good heart pumping?
Your voice on a wire
This book of lead, these millstone promises
This broken lock.

I should have cut off my hands.
filled my lungs with coals
should have stitched a barrel of stones in my belly
and drank from cold deep water,

I want
a vinegar-scrubbed plate of a heart,
White linen on a laundry cart, my angel-collar
Boiled in starch, I want warm snow,
Cold fire,
Crumbless time, with hospital corners,
Bleached history, and a forever of clocks
To give to you