Friday, April 1, 2011

1 OF 30

you spit it at me in greeting, to my good morning
the dead snake you chewed through your ink-bottle sleep
in the rafters our son has built a nest
of all the un-taken out garbage,
wet black plastic and milk bottles
full of borrowed anger,
he is trying it on, like a wig
like a dead soldier's uniform in an attic trunk
a cloudy salute in the mirror

when i sleep, it is cave-black, memoryless
but i wake with my hands full,
a broken piece of diving mask in my hands,
a mouth full of library paste and missing teeth
the stripes you laid across my back

there's a worm in my heart, a black fly rattle

when we were young, i burned my garbage
i cannot unremember the smell, the blue-green flame
how we watched the pages turn back, naked women writhe
in oil and potato peelings, in the midden heaps of secrets
of broken dishes, how the black eyes of the mice
stared out of every corner, the paperwasp walls,
black grease and radios

all the chickens clustered in the rain, the door to ruin

every house has a secret room you find in dreams,
where the unsaid things and the dust
and the king of the mice, and the unforgotten insults sleep
a still filled with rotten mash, uncarved halloween pumpkins,
a library of coverless books

even the stars curve inward on themselves and go black
chasing their own hearts down a stairwell
where no light can escape, and the detritus of worlds
spins and collides in the hollow dark

from the first fire, we are fleeing and falling
to ruin and cold, time itself a wound spring
in a junkheap alarm clock, radium dials glow
for the sowbugs and silverfish,
a stateroom on a sunken oceanliner
and heat-death inevitable as sundown

still i wake with you.
still we are here
and today, i kiss you,
i take out the trash on the way to work

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