A Cargo of Green Hearts
rain is on my mind
and how I will lie down
in it some day
or be laid down
not in the dry earth
to be the grey dust
the religious insist
I was born of
but to melt fully
under the liquid fingertips
in the way, all my life
I've melted incompletely
to tears and kisses
fully this time
not a toenail withheld
not a thought
just a pool of water
there for the drinkers
to become drunk on
and so drunk,
some days I feel almost content with the open
window through which the June
breeze is a kind of satisfaction, not nearly
as love, or the contact of a body,
both which I imagined I'd die without
but have not, years after the fact
although I often do not
know what to do with myself
even under the breeze and June, kindest
of months. it's as if I had gone to
the store for provisions and kept
driving, run out of gas and daylight
and kept on, then on foot, through
the months, till June came around again
and I was reminded that I'd set out for
something but could not recall what,
acknowledging I was still alive
without whatever it was and not starved to death
not all bone, knowing that June
is still June, the breeze pleasant,
my feet kicked up on the bags
that I never unpacked.
they say of rain I was
made, of a heart filled
like a cistern, down the street
how I dragged my long hair
and sang among storms
and flattened gardens.
they shivered when lightning
split the nut of the sky
and I danced; they shivered
and shook while I cut myself
full of windows and drank.
but the plants took their fill
and all the throats of the earth
opened up, witnesses
for me and me alone if you will
these lines and drowning,
in love, or out
as does the soul, made
of water, and as water the soul
as love or out as water, or else why
do we believe the dead rise
and join the clouds? why
do we weep for those lost
which are also moving like water
which are also carrying their
slow buckets across the jet stream
and returning from the other side
of the earth, where it was
dark, where the dark spoke
to them in secret language
and hollowed them
with capacity everlasting,
and filled it with clean rain?
I am heading toward the sea.
I’ve loitered too much on land
lugging my bones around, following
measly stars that lead only inward.
I know they say it is necessary,
thyself: be known
shadows: stand still, be counted
soul: inhabit this shining vocation
shirt: wear a pledge pin, stick it in deep.
but I want to disappear.
no cloud keeps its shape.
when the rain fell it didn’t have plans
to go anywhere. just splattered
just went down, just spread out;
all the holes with their tiny tongues
trying to lick it up.
it made me cry to think: what if this
is for me, too? to be inhaled by
the earth, to be indistinguishable.
I always imagined I’d amount
to something. I ate dirt, stones.
I used bricks, cinderblocks.
I carved me into things.
then, the sea. all the blue wheels,
no mercy, lighthouses
strobing the void, salt-rotted
graves of lost mariners pointing
outward, away from land.
I had a vision then, of longing
how it never ends.
I never knew how filthy
I was, lover, how heavy until you
drove me into the sea with both
tusks and took this flimsy name
out of my clutching fingers.
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