Love, Poetry


Rib under its sheath of skin holds the level
crossing up for working liver, bustling
spleen to scrub and build and pack
cargo for the journey. Beneath, a churning. Steady.

Blocks of iron and tiny tanks rolling
through tunnels, down and up, traveling
along the central line
past the switchman
into fingertip and sweat, all of this

I hold. We speak in whispers
using inadequate words. You try to say
gorgeous and alive
I try to say strong and vibrant. Squat
and awkward sounds. Silly. whole syllables
missing. Whole valleys. Villages
we mold into geometric shapes, press
creek and home and promise
into tiny boxcars chug chugging
along the flat track of the conversation
maybe on their way to page
but they don’t arrive
at the destination, they don’t even
follow the proper itinerary. We linger

hands fasted
on another shore gazing at the marvel
of distant steam rising
above the canopy. A drift is all that remains
of a route we used to know
and used to be
all we knew,
so far
between there and here.
The industrious little I think I can
delivers its dolls and letters,
its ironed sentiment in rectangular packages
the wrong shape entirely
to addressees unknown.

We find it hard to turn away, glued
to this tongue, common
to country and congenital ear. It cannot name
or even hear:

Crawl inside
here, into the pocket
of my cheek, slide down my throat. Land
is plentiful here. My lung is a fecund place
where voice is the offspring of air, blood,
choice. Chance
losing your language. We’ll prune and graft
a hybrid vernacular
and weave on its stem a chrysalis
song. All along the tissued surface
and in deeper loam, I wait.

(words mangle the shape of how I)

make room.

For you
take root
just by skimming the surface. Stay.
the splitting, the roil and spill
I cannot contain. You,
the hatch,
the broken open cells
of my desire and the first divisions
of the chimera I become
as you dig your furrow and plant
your shape
into me.

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