UNBUCKLE YOUR HEART
Unbuckle your heart, undo the luggage strap.
Wash the smell of old lovers out of your laundry.
Sow the dreams you’ve carved from your skull
like dice in sacred ground
and let’s see what springs up.
There’s the bathtub you can renew
your virginity in, and there’s a corner
you can stand your bass guitar in
like an Irishman at his wake in a coffin.
And there’s the garden for that persona
you took on the road like a scarecrow
for a travelling companion with a limp.
All the flowers taste of hummingbirds.
And it’s ok the raccoons come for the corn
like second storey cat burglars in the night.
They never take more than they need
and in a world of greed, that’s integrity.
I always leave a smile ajar to let them in.
But with you, my heart’s an open doorway
the moon’s standing in, and my blood’s
a transfusion of black roses into the occult.
My eyes, a rare conjunction of fireflies
that won’t happen again for another hundred years.
Doom can spend all the time it wants
messing with its calendars to co-ordinate
the apocalypse in all zodiacs at once
so the year of the rat and the year of the swan
don’t synchronize their prophets to the dawn
like waterclocks who think things are
just going to go on and on as they always have
like imperially inclined aqueducts without a rupture.
Eclipse, millennial poseur, you’re a lyric of carbon
that makes the diamonds flow like tears
to realize there’s galaxies of white sweet clover
more to you than appears under the cloud cover
of a hundred billion stars burning into the silver nitrates
of the photographic plates I take of you
in the humbled mountains of my all night observatories.
And even at this distance, alone in the cold company
of these one-eyed telescopes, I’m tempted
to cross your event horizons into your black holes
and see what worlds might come of us
on the other side. Throw caution to the wind
like a rodeo clown and take the ride
as if you were not too wise or wild for tenderness.
Even when you hurt I’ve seen how you wear
the corona of the sun so lightly in full eclipse
all the haloes shining by a reflected glory
seem mere brassy moon dogs by comparison.
Out of fury you insist upon your originality
like a gamma ray burst in the path of the earth
as you weave your interlocutory wavelengths
into the flying carpets and labyrinths
of an alien cartographer mapping out the stars
with your third eye open to the loneliness of beauty
and how everyone’s threatened by an intelligent orchid.
I imagine sometimes you’re almost as unloveable as I am
when I’m at my best, when I’ve been accurately blessed,
not too much, more or less, beyond my aspirations
and I see at the speed of light how time stops,
and my mass and volume become as infinite
as my body and mind, and everything
is perfectly inconceivable in a fallible eternity
that’s adapted to us like the medium of a mystery
in a graveyard of dead metaphors we keep giving
new meaning to as if we were all randomly immortal.
Are you the supple bubble of effervescence
in a tsunami of sorrow that could keep my spirits up,
or a methane moon waiting for an airlift of oxygen
to light you up. You’re too incandescent
to shine like a brown star, too imaginatively immense
to be a black dwarf. Are you the omnipresence of a particle
or the oracular wavelength of an apostate saint
when no one’s looking but me and you
through your holy books to see if what we said
came true or not? If we kept our word
to the innovative absurdity of it all in peace and war
or threw the moon through the window
like an alarm clock that didn’t go off in time
to save the earth? I know you’re not
the existential bricklayer of the paradoxically sublime
outside the gates of Babylon, nor the whore within.
I’ve seen you wing your way from one planet to the next
trying to thread your lifelines into a nest
that wasn’t a begging bowl in the hands of tree
that came on like a slumlord in a ghetto of birds.
There are no aviaries for the hopelessly free.
But could you live with me in this homelessness
like a tent in the wind that scours Mars for survivors
of the last expedition of seeds that tried to bloom here?
I’d build you a palace of black water that eclipsed
the beauty of the Taj Mahal and plant stars
all around it that would fountain into waterlilies
and we’d be so full of moonlight and solitude
in the silence of each other’s eyes, the darkness
couldn’t help but envy us the danger of the enterprise.