MY HEART’S BEEN DOGPADDLING
My heart’s been dogpaddling in its own blood for so long
it’s hard to tell whether I’m drowning
or waiting to be rescued.
Some stars are salt, and some are sweet
and the rivers flow back into the sea like living languages
back into their mother-tongue
in a mingling of eloquent pilgrims
and dragons don’t linger long in stagnant waters
and the autumn wind might have a few leaves
to say something wise and enduring about it all,
and the mindstream clarify itself in its running,
but I like to linger among the lilies
still tucked here and there behind the ears of the shore for awhile
as if each were a woman
or an enlightened lifeboat
tethered by my spinal cord to the bottom of things
like a star always is to its dark mother.
Whatever that means. Honestly,
things get away from me sometimes like fire and doves
as forms of thought slide out of their thawing like butter and snakes
and the best things I’ve ever said
were in words that completely ignored me.
And there is something metaphysically Chaplinesque
about the way my most cherished profundities,
the ones that make my eyes fall silent
always seem freaked with gestures of pain
as if I hadn’t learned to love my loneliness perfectly yet.
Maybe I’m wrong after all these years
and the error has gone on elaborating interminably as me
but I still think it’s better not to be understood by a buddha
than severely articulated by a mob
even when I make a mess
of my delusions of you.
Would you have trusted me more
if I had told you not to?
Would you have loved me any better
if I had said I didn’t love you
and tried to mean it as long as I could?