You troll the storehouse for the length of sentences you’ve been
safekeeping for battle. You pass your tongue over each
lumpy word, memorize the order. You gather the curtains dusting
the edges of the story you’d tucked into every line of palm,
every crease of heart, each bend and fold of your body.
You hold this refined army up by the neck, ready to thrust it forward
as evidence of your injury, preparing yourself for the hefty assault that will follow
as you volley back with further proof. But then, face to face at last,
you find your soldiers have abandoned their posts, and it is just you,
standing there, looking into the eyes of someone you love, and have, always.
the joy of sweeping
after Wallace Stevens
I don't know which to prefer,
an empty room
or the door
that fills it,
the settling of dust
or its disturbance,
or the song.
or just after.
leave it to the peacocks
Leave it to the peacocks to draw the crowds. Let them preen and amble,
garishly, across a manicured lawn. Let them fan their resplendent tails
behind them. Let the camera shutters immortalize their barrel-chested poses,
their plucky radiance, their unembarrassed grandeur. Let them make a grand
parade, and let the children kneel, fleshy kneed, to offer plump fistfuls
of breadcrumbs. You are hovering somewhere in the shadows, or a distant
matrix of branches obscured by a canopy - and an audience - you can't control.
But no circus throws a spotlight at its perimeter. No roar delivers
the whole story, or the origins from where it came.
No single wind unmakes a bird. Your wings are fluttering all the same.