All our limbs together – caught up (day 17)


In this stairwell a man with a voice like a plastic zipper hunches over his things. He wears a way out. He wore a hospital bracelet. His face like the shut door to the roof.

In this stairwell I have my hands glued to the window panel, my lens trained on the snow it contains.

There is time, they say, and inside.

They say one woman rung the bell and all the island knew it was home. They say no human is a rock, a swatch of land, or a crop but can become any one of these things if left long enough in the proper mixture. They say the way out of the capitol is to climb until you hit the deposit you thought was the sun, your net worth measured in the distance between bars (rung) you’ve been climbing now for what feels like an insurmountable sum of moving hands – the ladder growing down as you peel through it. You can see the right side of everything.

In this stair the wells become dry and each memory of plaster gets sealed behind the eyes of the 9-volt battery jammed inside the chirping smoke detector. Hope is a thing with collapsible joints. Hope is a thing that expands into pleasure, its diameter immeasurable. That makes it a very large semi-circle, they say. Hope is a thing that’s strung to the weather, or hung from the roof. Look at the wall there like the side of the moon. It begs you to.

If you count the times in song the word moon arrives, you’ll be counting forever. This ladder lets us know there’s directness and directions and between them a way. The blood in all our pumping organs, the beats and beasts that can hold these rungs ask you to come out tonight – call you by name regardless of your hair color, your gender, or your collective shame.

When the police arrive to question us, we’ll be outside.

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up the steps day 16

Somebody said it takes a while to walk

Past what we are – and in this sleeve, in this selving, in this salvage, in this helpking, in this serve and sever and severe

the edges, a nomination for combing the spine, the title

someone said it takes back, it takes the back – it takes from us a form

a long while to know that who we are we have perceived and who we become has something to do with whatever it is we’ve gestured at – take the sleepy windowsill, the pent up cloth hiding beneath a dust jacket, all of the sneezes we’ve wiped away from our faces either in release or suppression, this light centered and what it closes

part of heat is in the wave, past what curl it created – the edge of every thing sings, stings, collapses

we inherit cradle songs and the walls they bounced off of, the badge of claimant pursuits

when the unpacked box belongs in the next room, the body has to assess what heft and orbit to pull from, what sequence of steps to prove factual each division of space

if you were to drop right here your hand into mine and us then drop both into this lamp’s quest we might see our way through flesh, we and might and see all singular on the mind but here in doing something to the light. 


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15th day, the tax-man pays the drum


When the written parts

Meet the lived parts

Meet the staging area

Where the lights split

And line the foyer, the floor

With finger touch and photocopy

Meet the version of you

Kept silent all through years

Of color the names of which

On repeat get lifted from your head

A bed like the concrete flooring

Connects one song to a person

And a person to the string

Lit from below inside her

Blowing about inside this room

The names you’ve forgotten

For things you’ve lost

A happy limp through tapes

The hips cased in chalk

I am standing on deck

The lapse of lines been drawn

And you reform here

In pace between

Words and exact

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day 14 creak and rain in gear and late, still


She walked in silence like a white

statue, her head gone filed into cracks


at the neck, she watered

the plants

with her forearms frozen,


the plants

reared back. Or they didn’t.


She walked in limber

and lit

with stacks of lanterns


a column for a building

her newest

creation the weight


of knowing against

the rain, of going

to be filled


up to the throat

and then to dry out

try again


and again be filed

up to cracks. There was no

swallow in her forest,


there was no

gal low in the trees.

It was a plaster


sound took her notice,

curves round

the center of everyone else’s


tension – either at- or re:

a garden.

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Touch is mouth – day 13, late later – a gram per

Touch is mouth

The lion, the width, a number

The tiger they say is burning

500 candles an instant in the eye

Fearful symmetrics, not what the classroom

Shooting hand steadies. The circus

My brother and I are

Wet fur on the neck to be carried

Forward – each circle a planted

Eye. They say bright and the lit-up

The got and the rotating cuff

In the center of the tongue a roar

Map, a road to darkness and diss

Associations can only remain if there’s

A loop – to feed, to back. If you knock

Out the point total, the sum

Of every fear in the night

You will wake up in a circle

The lips rearing round you

I am certain, this tiger thin stripe


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day 12: catch – upping

April 12

What do you like

doing, what are you

into? The soul is a stretcher

beneath your feet and color

obvious – pink for the future

you’ve pressed petals into

the solid granite of ease.

When visiting friends

the tag-along decorations

reload – a corona for the weekend.

The stable benefit of

crepuscular light – holes in

the arrangement. If you place

your reflexes on hold, the newest

year will gain on you from under

the ground. It’s nothing to fill

an entire museum with flowers

and tulle – to match each dream

with the grain it resembles most

and love the one your fist

folds round.

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11th day – delayed

The tech comes knocking

when the lights below the feet

of Michael Jackson

with the broken

mountain crystal lit and daggered

A mouse had lost his way, his hands removed, their pale

tips of things

we leave them alone to hang

When the road had ruptured

as the song continued

Earth gone


in its presentation

The modulation of light

an aptitude for shaping

how we come to see

through prisms – say the past

and each breath left tingling as

morning comes to wake

us from the game

Where placing you

fast asleep and limb by limb

into a costume

constitutes the real world, it blinking

its lights with a refrain

that states

the girl’s claim and a child

somewhere gone



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