SQUIRREL ON A LEAFLESS BRANCH
Squirrel on a leafless branch in the rain,
a comma looking for a clause
in the periodic sentence of the tree
delving into the matter
of its own unassuming origins
like the last affable thought
that just interviewed me.
Who the fuck knows?
Denuded down to the duff
I look upon my own leaves
like so many theories I’ve shed
throughout this long night, this brief day,
all the useless maps that carried me away
with every gust of wind
to show me where here was.
Now I’m all crazy starmaps
brailled by constellations
trying to remember the names of their capitols
that starred me like a sheriff or an aster
to this empty treasure chest
I’ve spent my life looking for.
Take a look. There’s nothing inside
but this darkness that has given up its dead
like birds out over a shoreless sea.
Things used to be a lot more drastic
when I would run to put the fires out
my heart had started like an arsonist
by weeping jewels and mirrors
over the burning wedding bed
that woke every morning up like firetrucks and bread.
I took those sails down like skies
a long time ago,
shook the stars and blackholes out of the sheets
and let my eyes wander off into space
like water on the moon
to find a more appropriate face.
Now when I get to the bottom of things,
or even just sink my way through
this unfathomable awareness
that keeps supposing me to me,
I’m as barren and rootless
as a lightning strike on the moon.
And nothing is revealed.
And nothing catches fire.
And there’s nothing
but the alms of a desert
in the craters of these begging bowls
that gape like the empty eye-sockets
of an enlightened insight
that once flashed across the night
like protein looking for a home
in the vast homelessness of it all,
or the still life embedded
in a matchead that’s gone out
like a flower from its flaring,
or better yet
the way I am bound to my life
like the holy cornerstone of a shrine
that revolves around me
like this old meteorite of a skull,
this kissing stone,
that knows me well.