Fast and Slow

The top of my head
feels hollow
fills with sounds and delusions
that echo
in time with my heartbeat
my pulse
the flow of electrons
through neurons
between where my finger
slides through graphite
on paper
to where my shoulder
hinges at my neck
and past my dry mouth
sagging cheeks
and languished eyes
so I stop thinking
drained by prayer and famine
to observe
the world as it wavers and twists
lilting sideways
as my steps lurch forward
the passages of overhead conversations
like “It’s crazy
in the hands and feet alone
are half the bones
in the body”
and my feet are tired from standing
my hands are numb
from holding open this Book of Life
reading all the words
to find my name
to realize
my hands carry this weight
as much as my feet
that half my body is assigned
to doing
so half my mind
as it withers in sacrifice
should find itself trained
not upon being
eating, drinking, desiring
but doing.

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SPEAK

Speak
or forever hold your silence
cupped between your hands
as though a mug of coffee
waiting to overflow
Drink
swallow while it’s still hot
let the bitter waters
fill you to the brim
and simmer
in the stinging glory
of choosing inaction
creating motion
out of stillness and restraint
while the last dregs of water
puddle at the bottom
and reflect all the shadows
that stir you in the night
and drown your waking dreams
in regret.

So speak.

Change and Resistance

Should I pull back before I place the drop
of blood upon this silver plate
should I let the red swell tight to syrup
or turn it into ink? Pondering resistance
the aerodynamics of cardinals and bluejays
caught between sunbeams and storm clouds
is this whisper loud enough for you to listen
or just a child calling a dog god, or god Bob
because he doesn’t know the names of places
should I drop a letter in the mailbox
stir a movement calling out for change
as they push me to the side and drown me
do they wither in their loneliness or steep
like bitter tea leaves, do their hearts cry
for one more day of the routine that kills them
because it’s all they know of life?

Defining Lines

Two points define a line
like lines define movies
“You had me at hello”
or maybe, baby
nobody puts you in a corner
and a corner, perfectly shaped
is sharper than words
and words, perfectly forged
are sharper than swords
and you stabbed me, baby
with a pen to the aorta
and thick, black ink poured out
formed a puddle in my hands
and two hands define a body
define a man, because actions
speak louder than words
and words spin with angles
and angles make corners
and two corners, perfectly shaped
form a line, and one line
is all you remember.

Sirium 5

V. Gypsy Moth Fortune Cookie

I spread my arms into the wind and jump. For a moment we’re suspended in space amid the single note of someone’s scream and a roll of thunder above us. Then we’re plummeting toward the ground, the wind roaring into my ears and rain splattering across my face. I spread my fingers–the water hits them like ice and I swear I’m bleeding–and try to feel the water droplets in the air and the layers of clouds above us.

The rain’s a lot like the snow, and I feel the droplets moving toward me as I start to bend my fingers inward, but the clouds are like the river I hadn’t quite gotten hold of. I open my eyes and try to look upwards, to see them, but it’s all a blur, and we’re still falling. I shut my eyes, imagining the clouds and spread my fingers again. It’s now or never.

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