News slaps on our borrowed stoop—
a second chance to know yesterday
not for its humidity but for its brash acts.
Plastic icebergs, blue carnations, glue
made hard and transparent by patience, the year
coalesces around a doll’s hair, its sap shine.
Where a sidewalk sharpens secrets into pennies,
mica incinerates a whiff of light—
Speak to me.
Daughters, our faces are not ours
but borrowed, as sand from shore
is sucked out to a sandbar.
A monstrous house, its insides turned out
in the wreck of time burns
its red dress at daybreak.
I flick my pocket lighter,
my first transgression:
Fire is mine to hold.
Gels mold over the peat, smoke its theater.
I pretend I’ve always scrolled down Broadway,
never learned to count to twenty. Pretend
I fear neither ash nor wasp.
Once, in a canyon
I watched a ram charge a peach carcass.
The news rolls on. Like pretty girls
in bodega light, I pretend
not to see what sees me. Which is to say, I do
not want vision, my primary form of suffering
I open my collar. A sparrow
exiles itself to a black blossom.
There is spring waiting in cardboard walls.
On the step, the ergonomic handle of a razor.
On the sill, three wicks curl. Dull blades
still cut. My legs
are built to kick. Her legs,
In the club, a song sinks into the well
of shoulders, its beat, chief of blizzard and gunfire.
I hold my breath for the length of a joke—exhale.
Her eye nets shadows like the wings of extinct insects.
Rust, the darkening fabric of a pink spill and sound
its cavernous appetite, replace the bruise. This is to say,
the subwoofer clocks our childhood back an hour.
Rabid country, your tune has lost its dancehall.
Spits its anthem from one side of the boombox—
as link by link, the year opens
its choke chain, says, put your head in—
to farm new moons from clavicles. We’re still young
enough to pry a shore from its amputated palm. Later,
in a bathroom curtain, black jeans long gray
in the folds of last decade’s catalogues, I refuse the day
its art. I watch her sleep
with clenched fists, sing
into closed fists, the sky
pink and blue as a newborn.