A Cargo of Green Hearts
at last it rained.
the clouds spread their blue, blue eyelids.
too long we embraced the sun
the round yellow arms the dusty fingertips
for decades it seems the heat we
believed was everything
imagining in this bottomless desert
god spoke through a dry mouth
whispered rasped through dead leaves.
then, a drop.
and our tongues extended alarmingly
like the hands of starving
children and another
and this, the story
of how our eyes were filled how
the fish learned to breathe without
air so lovely their gills dancing
like Chinese fans. listen, it is true
our third eye is made of water
a parting gift to us from the horseshoe
crab, wise old boatman of the sea
back when we traded leg for fin
and wandered mad and foolish
across the earth troubling things
troubling ourselves but still
it is water, still
the kiss it is water
still in the heart's
it is water that carries the salt
of our tears to the sea
where it prays
where it reclines buoyantly
where it sleeps like a calmed god.
I am looking for room to die honorably
August, a girl who held my hand at last, so lovingly
a bird that I do not know the name of visited me at night
I feel the highways contract like muscle for that final leap
see, if you kiss me here while the days are still so long, it will have to stop
we will have to feel our way through the night eventually
the things we could do there
leaves will fall but I will wear my tenderness like a glove until the palms wear out
I think the bears are dreaming of dreaming
the nights feel that heavy now
the sun wept purple tears
someone explain this to me, how to reach out when everything is trying so hard to let go
I am so ripe I could be cut in two and sold whole twice
these thoughts and others have begun to trouble me
please turn me, please point me home
so, I am waiting for fall. I have touched
tenderness on this earth, have bowed
to it like a blackened lover forehead
dropped forward to the feet of a saint.
have cut off my feathers and mailed
them south. I cannot fly but still can
sing. the seas are made of tears. if I stop
crying I cannot blame the desert for
being dry. each leaf prepares to
die like a warrior painted in blood.
a cloud has a cold name scratched on
its back. kisses replay themselves backward, lips
disappearing like Octobered watermelons.
I have been carrying the story of a bear
through this shivasana. if all goes
well, I will awake riding the bear. if not
the bear will eat me and winter will
never stop. if you do not believe me
think hard about what melts ice,
what wakes the dead. Lazarus awoke
to the touch of something he did not believe.
a sliver pulled from his heart.
Shiva awoke when death squatted on him
and became life. so we recognize love
in the thinnest of seasons by the narrow
by the thin. we light fires.
when our lover touches us on the shoulder
we shiver, but not of the cold
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