An ant carrying the last bell of a flower,
the heavy weight of knowing how it ends,
the autumn left to clean up after the party,
I have nothing to say to the crows in daylight,
sitting a bough above me like quotation marks,
the heart afraid of its own farewells
as the geese stream across the sky like a shoelace,
and I am more alone in the world than space
as time shows me passage after passage
of wounded poppies bleeding like a hooker’s lipstick.
I’m tired of pushing the sail of my life
like a solar wind to the edges
of the knowable and over
into the unintelligible abyss
of a dictionary compiled for the dead.
And the stars are beginning to look like nails
in a large coffin without a rudder
that sank in drydock,
and stone by stone the cemeteries chatter about life
as they did among shadows, hoping and guessing
the pious vehemence of their chiselled certainties
doesn’t drop a dime
on the number of urges they’ve had
to fuck a teen-age girl into oblivion.
And there are clarities quick enough
to open the lovers like letters that never came,
and mental corals
that will rip the hull out of the moon,
and hives of venom and honey
that hang like lanterns and ambivalent kisses
above the tongue that’s fool enough to taste them,
and a night so dark ahead
only the most star-struck understudies
of last year’s constellations
are eager enough to shine.
I wish I didn’t know,
I wish I didn’t insist on seeing
and my blood didn’t set out looking for me
with a message to assassinate anyone who hides.