I CAN’T SAY
I can’t say that my breath
isn’t the lengthening shadow
of a tree burning its leaves
like a candelabra in the sunset,
or the moon hasn’t broken its tooth
trying to open the lotus of marrow
I motherlode in the lockets of my bones
like silver and bread
for the long, lean journey ahead.
Sometimes when I look at the stars and wonder
I feel like a cigarette-butt
in a glass of mystic wine,
my little humanity, a grain of dust
on a sidereal windowsill, if that,
and I remember the ignorant sincerity
of the orchards that sweetened their apples
like a windfall of hearts
under my eyelids as I dreamed
night after night
of unknown thresholds
I might cross like a smile or a shadow
down this blood-road of blossoms and storms
that I have carried everywhere with me
like a snake in a bag.
There was a silence at the end of my fingertips
when I reached out to touch a cheek or flower,
so beautiful, so intense
I am certain I felt the pulse of God
throbbing like a bird in her vastness,
that I could almost forgive time
the bridge of cornerstones
that trampled me like a grape
in a stampede of asteroids
and buried me like water on the moon
in an avalanche of skulls.
My tears fall from the eaves of my sorrows
indifferently as rain
trying to wake seeds
like the eye of a needle
to patch the wounded earth with roots.
And I am still demonic enough
to prefer the clarity of the flame
to the pillars of smoke that pass for wisdom,
though I know it means
sailing off the edge of the world
like a galaxy on its own event horizon
with the empty hand of the wind
on a rudder it mistakes for a wing.
I don’t think I’ll go very far when I die.
I’ll pour my snake out like wine, like a candle
like music from the flutes of my bones
and charm my way
like the fragrance of a stone rose
through the dark, nameless gate
I’ve been walking through since I was born.