I might not vanish, for you, the second I am out of your immediate sensory range, and I love that, I love how we could choose fear, but do not, and I love how we could have chosen to leave the basement at once, and did, though we couldn’t go too far southeast for awhile, past that green corner where the bridge is, finally, more interesting to look at than the water, curving along the golf course, a territory of possibility we didn’t yet need to claim. The things that happen to our bodies are real. Too late we went to see the rhododendrons, which had already bloomed and dropped, but we were almost in love again. The trunks were smooth and perfect with life. The blossoms that remained looked leftover from an impoverished, tea-stained past, beautiful, like poppies, fascinating to observe at every stage of their life cycle. You and you youth obsession, I said, and meant it. Five faltering blossoms opened at once. We could quiet one of them, but the other four were still there.
COMPARISON IS THE BASIS OF ALL KNOWLEDGE & ALL REASONING
The drinking water reservoir
has to move indoors so people and animals
can’t pee in it. The mountains I love are younger
and taller than me by one inch. I take my whole
burning skin down to basement, give my throat
a pillar. Without desire there is hope. I come
right to the spot. Get well. I would spend seventeen
years creating a pond for you to rise from.
I’d maintain moonlight, cool clinging shorts.
In the desert all I ever wanted was to be in love
and asleep. The threat of love hung
over the morning I ran out of oil
and for the first time fried an egg in butter.
I knew I had maybe six good miracles left.
Every time I said I missed the rain he rolled
a single pearl to me across our blue table.
Retreats to the mountain lake house
where bare and sandaled feet padded
past a rattlesnake until some drunker uncle
used a shovel to behead it. A death was never
a surprise. At night I’d put on a sweater
and walk out to the sand’s lacy salt edge
where I knew the moon was mine, and there
I’d remember a snowball shattering the pane
of an antique lantern, the orange glow spilled
out. I’d think of trees, growing.
I want to thank you for being so
thoroughly gone. Did you need me
to talk about how bad our country is
at death? I remember the teenage actors
trying to scare me in the cemetery
the choral singing, an owl perched
on a volunteer’s arm at the end
a curl of supermoon melting away
mornings I would flee the bad-smelling bed
a group of old men in the coffee shop were shitty
to a woman in ways they think of as kind
my voice coming now from inside a tube
of dead hornets, a metal tubful of oil
cracked and leaking underground
sometimes it matters when people know
I’m annoyed, green light dragging
through the seasons
an army of sex toys buzzing
maybe that’s the reason
I want my friends to have kids
so I don’t have to share
sometimes did you ever sneak a piece
of my cold butter into your mouth