All True Heavens
Your house has hidden doors, as do all true heavens.
Through them we follow silver smoke in footprints
from incense in secret alone, to yesterday’s yesterdays,
where girls in candy dresses walk among the living and
the dead, speaking haiku. They ask, is this an agate?
Is this is an agate, or a door? Or possibly a key?
The morning brings a green that reflects the infield.
There are angels on top of Pattison school. See the ghosts
of first kisses, painted in block letters on taconite trestles.
We said. We swore an oath. We said, more to ourselves
than each other. We swore. But nothing grows when planted
in memory. Not People. Not Trees. Not promises. Not Keys.
Here, the land is not sick. Cars don’t chase us. Nobody
watches the news. They teach us to tie tire swings to
the ugliest tree by the river, and to jump without regret.
We lay in raspberry fields behind the university, where
and when we stare up at opening clouds. We wish them into
recognizable futures. A day moon suspends over the Ferris wheel.
What if every relationship ends like the Mayan long-count
calendar? As survivors we huddle in rubber groves, while the corners
of our consumed lips quake. We watch the sky. Will it be fire?
Will it be ice? Or a tide that refuses to stop rising?
I want to die laughing in front of immorally honest mirrors,
As furrowed lines spread over my one brave brow. I want my
body recycled, its’ generous colored skin stretched on racks
to be printed as a religious tract or a cautionary tale against
unrelated comic tattoos and hastily drawn religious symbols of
statues whose footprints don’t disclose a hero’s journey. Their feet are
slow and bare. Some of their toes have a mind of their own. They go this
way and that. They go where they are called. Where they are allowed.
How will we know when we are ready? Like when Mary Shelley
brought Percy to her mother’s grave, where she traced her own
name on the tombstone. Where she rumored her own future, pro
mythos. In a year without a summer I too will write a story.
Friends of Friends
Our favorite girls talk about the moon, tight hands
Bled, stomachs in knots, hair shorn incomplete, in
plowed fields around fires. Or outside swooning,
swaying knee deep in surf. Or scrying for money in
apartments over bodegas with orange cats stretched
on long mahogany ledges. Some wear crowns of silver
stars on newly shaved heads- blue and gold gowns-
thin black boots pulled over ebony or porcelain legs
surrounded by friends and friends of friends born
under a full moon as it began to retreat. Vesuvius
longed for and sang to the missing sky- head thrown
back in abandon – a deep voice burst from his diaphragm,
in rage and placidity he remade the land in love.
Elsewhere the grinning land whispered a waterfall to a
penetrated shore with expectant lips pursed beneath a
strawberry moon. Dancing beneath big sur baptized in
time, grunion shove themselves onto the sand. On the surface
nothing moves but the goddess, a sure shadow over cracked
craters, as above so below. Card maidens find life in dust,
their eyes and ears and throats delight to be the center of the
storm. With beautiful translations of luna on our tongues
we descend and ascend the sky as each other tonight.
The Girl Who Cried Cups
The girl who cried cups is apparent. She is ablaze in the fire of expectation.
She is poised to practice patience, while sand runs through her hands.
Her dress is lit with fleur de lis, and pomegranates to push through delicate soil.
The girl who cried cups reads swords for entertainment. She stretches
over candlelight in parades of incense towards a mirror that clouds with
breath each time she whispers what she hesitates to sing.
The girl who cried cups is forever forgetting the arrangement of stars.
She calls fertility like an auctioneer speaking in riddles.
Understanding apparitions in light flashes across her open veil.
The girl who cried cups is in love with crowds and throngs of disciples
at summer festivals. She sits astride fountains, casting coins into
tomorrow wishing over blurred voices for a memory or a new dream.
The girl who cried cups decorates her skin with scars and buries her
treasures in lines. She disguises her screams as carefree sighs, and swims
through desolate streets at sunrise praying for the motion of swift wings.
The girl who cries cups is awake to possibility in exponential orbit.
She becomes the stars at night. Limitless incantations of names
and constellations wrapped around myths of seasons and cycles.
The girl who cried cups believes in laughter as a longing protest,
or confession of the unborn. She calls for the old gods to lay down their
crowns at the feet of the unbelievers. Her eyes are wet with wishes.
The girl who cried cups can reach to heaven when music echoes from the walls
and pushes into her, through her footprint, into carpet, out into April skies of fire.
The girl who cried cups is blind as cupid. She writes by starlight and receives a blessing.
She practices Asarte against a pantheon of armour. Her Arrows stray from face to face
and find their rest in throats of Nightingales.
The girl who cried cups is upside down with passion. She is pulling roses
from thorns, spreading petals over stony ground. She covers the world with
dizziness, soft caresses, and rough hot kisses. Her prayers are spoken in blood.
The girl who cried cups has crooked sisters three. Adorned in shadows they
beckon to her, teeth and all, and with the winds swollen voice they call to her
while she continues to recite the names of everyone she knows.
could have asked me
what the guy
at the end of the bar
I could have replied
that he longed to die.
He would have only
glared at his beer, and
wondered if I were a spy.
But nobody asked me
and I wouldn’t say,
preferring to jingle
Everyone found out
the very next day that
his thoughts had been