the invention of water
. . . our last page waits with cold wings furled, can't stand a cold angel, shut up like cherry-buds. we relate by smelling cut grass, grass on one side of the path dappled, dappled grass on one side where the morning hasn't turned the water out, we are waterwheels turning with dreams left running, wasting, turning our weeks over like soil, like eroded fields of sweet found red places we hold in memory of ripeness, we hold in our palms like baby birds, write the numbers in our palms with the juice of. afraid with the shame of children, stitching twigs and stems to hold the gaps and gullies together. palming the wet ground to make sure we're not growing dreams we can't pronounce, dream composers who say play soft, play loud, play one, two, three, four again, again. the pained grace painted on our collarbones, stone lips mysteried by ellipses, the infertile seedlings lined up, sprouts lifted up out of the garden to feed birds who hang on reaching branches, old moments reaching the reach of thieves, creeping under closed doors, seeping into wine vats, fluttering in by dusted sunbeams are found floating belly-up in our glasses, sunken in the pulses of peppermint, ginger, thyme, fire-blue flowers that fall. the partial story pressed between pages of us collected, our handwriting fades, our bent letters still laced across the doorways like poppy-pods, the theater of our averted eyes revolving around the past like strung stars, both burning and restrained, filling the distance. rotting plums, stitched to our paper crowns, crown me with your pasteboard pomegranates and turn me under, harvest me, tell me i am here and you are there. let our bones fall back to the ground.
bird-colored glass: an installation
red side of september mom's belly ripening up like the last apple, october scarecrow decorate dead grass pumpkin gut scooped out with a wooden spoon for smoothing, spanking, stirring. splinter-palm grains of pine drying in the sun. wrapped in yarn in blankets november, papery crimson stir of memory november, bare branch witch-finger in needle-rain november, heavy yellow moon harvest the last of the leaves and the wind and a flat glass bird-girl is born. first hard lemon winter light to look through, suspend a winter bird against the storm windows, twist of black sky tilted with the weight of first things, suspending time. birch bark. sharp-tipped. chancy. skinny arms held full to empty. black sky fills with clean stars like april rain in a slatted barrel.
hurricane lamp and emergency candles waiting in the antique icebox with the punchbowl. elaborate raw wooden walls waiting for bird. pictures drawn in knotty pine, ghost-branches lopped off, old wounds make knots to inherit, good topsoil-colored eyes and big brother has nightmares about, red fox chase a boy though the garden, hit over the head with a frying pan, flung over the moon and gone. down the short wooden hallway glass bird sleeps like a puppy, little folded wings limp in dreams of running the yard to flying. unable to sustain taller breaths between dreamgrass and brown belly, pesky inability to maintain little ribcage horizontal to sky, birds float down the edges, undone shoestring walls of, the dream keeps coming but doesn't get there. here, where bird learns almost. learns early. is not afraid of falling.
biography of bird is written in the path through the orchard in apple seeds. biography of bird is spelled wrong, word-combining, letters dyslexic, scratched in the mud with bare toes, hourglass-textured, circus-colored. biography of bird is buried in faded photos of the family couch for nobody to find. ask and mom won't tell. mom whose belly swelled up for autumn, for sunshot maple leaves raked up, for the dying of things, for the branches poking cold nimbly fingers at the skyline like reaching at in sleep, as in a dream, as in a muddle, as moth-eaten map, premonition of tumbling, of things pulling apart, just slightly. biography of bird a swallowed flower, or a muffle for the garden asleep under snow