What will she sing, now that his mouth
has fallen slack? She casts needles

beneath purer grace
notes and elided sibilants, the slide

of glass on wound steel. You hear
a bird on the record, accidental,

waking the dog, who kicks. Imagine
some feathers, worm heads, the precariousness

of claws on sills. Imagine Tennessee and sixguns
on backroads. You hear me, that hum,

but too whatís under
it all, steadiness, thrum. Fineness

in shadow. Iím running my hands. Parson,
plowman, what ideal runs

over this pale boy in gaudy suit,
emmylou this hickory into

that one and only cadence, the boom
of flung torsos, one which collides

and one a bird beneath tire treads, or
wingless, or pitching sheeps

into noon like dumpster donuts,
always a small gift, always unexpected.

 

 

 
 

 

 
  Where I am. Forgot the specific angle and wattage
             of recurring red light (spinning
police siren / neon sputter / siren again). Lost the fiction,

the canvassed location (this or that motel). A name
             inverted, to mean something else. My own:
slim gogo agent. You were. And that matters. Kissing me

with chocolate in your mouth, or tequila, stutters
             of small redemption, sidewalk cracks which maybe hold
what we lose. Whatís valuable. I held. You, hanging.

I have sat here with this same chipped cup for years,
             never stopped being thirsty or started
to articulate your going missing. There is a crime scene

photograph Iíll never see; spattered head-on-wall-on-
             film. Millimeter and motion caught there, left
wanting, thinking motel. Thinking, one small finger in my cunt.

My own. To get rid of. Itís Wichita, nine days straight. Itís
             a blackout. Itís the feel of bleached sheets
beneath me. Itís hideous, your eye long exploded, the blackness

of the blown pupil which seemed only to see sorrow. And music,
             pop song, stupid radio song. Your funny eye and crushed
cheekbone and the AM mono from the side of the vibrating

bed. Kansas. Arizona. The lover who is not a lover. The lover
             who has shot the best of his head out. That I should
need that line. Again. But under this vanished man, beneath

this breaking and delicate skull, below the violent end
             is something that pulls me closer, hand over
candle flame, five years later. Did you pose before

the metal hand which reached for you? Which took
             you out? (Incident or performance/middle eight
which leads back / makes headlines / makes chorus makes

resolution.) Kansas wilts and scorches. I will not.

 

 

 
 

 

 
  What you wantedóa place for the disparate, severed
but replete with a something (a wanting?), object:

physique díephemer, a shutter blown back. Scattered furniture.
A cobbled street, something still beneath smoke

and water. You too could fracture into malleability,
into mere agitation. You are a spark, he a mirror.

There was Philadelphia, two days of a steady
rain. Cornellís boxes at the museum, glasses of something,

a tumble into the street, all shame and stockings
torn at the knee. Is it what we donít speak

that we canít forget? And your sherry eyes
whiskey the sidewalk. You are sparks, mirrored,

god a dog who wants to be stroked. To see oneís self
dreaming is terrible and endless, refracting mirror

after mirror after mirror. You only wanted
a soft bed, a place to put these things

that wouldnít fit. These very things
are what you love, parceled: feather, letter,

small doorframe. Then birds fly out of the box,
dreams scattering half across Italy in fog.

You want to be happy? There are more
important things
. What you love only seems locked

into his handsome faceóvanished and vanishing.
His green eyes. Before his mirror you know he never

wanted you here, brushing your teeth in his sink,
all these boring bits of you and of him, only separate

and thus sadder. (A fear of endings
is a crisis of faith, enigma of glass cubes, ephemera

of silica, dust, penny arcade.) His arm
betrays him by leaving the small of your back,

then his back by turning to you on the train
through Jersey. This is how things get known

and broken (bewilderment at the disappeared
pattern). Once, he came to you, then left

without spark or mirror, headed north, a collection
of pieces, faceted glass. His dream walks the remnants

of your own. He is present here too, as something
still. He writes upon waking, she burned the thing

that stopped her going back. He is resonance itself
as you are distance, what you never wanted,

accumulations of useless, haunted things (chosen)
in your apartment, in his (as boxes), scatterings.

 

 

 
 

 

 
  February 12th and winter an empty
threat. Summer greened us in, convertible
tops, lime. At ideological retread
seminars, day campers peed
their short sets and we changed them
into anonymous poly blends.
There is nothing slower than turning
from you, from them. Car wheels
on gravel mixed with snow, the outer
borders of the state and its rehabilitations.
May you never leave what you are about
to love. The city smells again of sulfur
from the outposts, and Iíve been waiting for
that song to enter the tubes of the jerryrigged
radio, for that tex-mex AM revolution
of this-is-how-it-goes. Your uniform never
more handsome than in a heap
on the dashboard I imagine carries you
past the checkpoint. Inside somewhere,
the children wait for the rain to stop.