Fugue for Insects, Animals, and Vegetables
Animals live among us; they shit in our kitchens.
I find spiders asleep or dead in the mailbox.
They look like crossed out words.
In water, whales sink and arc beneath us,
their teeth could comb your hair and it’s rumored
a handful of their flesh feels just like a breast.
In the mirror when I touch one breast it is not the one
I try to touch. What is real is what I can imagine. I’m not sure
I deserve what I want. Better to expect the deficit
As if every disappointment buoys a delight.
Their heads in dirt sacks, the potatoes periscope.
The tomatoes slip glistening beads from wet purses.
And these gifts, what must I do to pay for these?
Have I suffered enough, roughed up by the cucurbits’ leaves?
Nothing I buy stops the cats from sleeping their lives away.
I spend so much time digging at the bottom of bags
and resent the squirrels plugging the dirt every year.
I keep a garden against chaos, each bush pruned back to its bones.
Still summer comes in one lump sum. Shiny things
work themselves out through the dirt like slivers.
Maybe it’s the crows. And each day I ask myself
will you be the pen or the scissors? And resolve:
to my cats on my hands to bring home the smell of other cats.
If I can have only one color of butterfly: yellow.
This isn’t a competition; who made me think so?
So, surrender, trust the windfall and marry the house.
But the animals are not enough. I want the freedom
to reach out and touch you with my blunt instrument.
While the slugs bullet hole the ranunculus buds,
the nightcricket plays his tiny violin and feels sorry.