Tagged: the Water

SWAT

woke up drenched again, not
dreams, not raining, who knows
– there’s a resiny
imprint of me
on my mattress –

I go through what I ate
when, the withdrawal symptoms
of things like caffeine
pot, what I’m wearing
sleep positions, if
I should shower before

maybe my matress is a valley
my blankets roads
I overheat, sweat
become cold, pull them up

to wake unsure
where the water came from
if it’s water at all, or just salt
if while sleeping, I’ve
been swimming, and
barely made it back to shore

Its Parallel Existence

Formerly of love appears
on grainy 90s television
She takes down my shorts by the pool
Her mouth is full of ice, if I remember, or
I tried to run

I remember my first kiss. I wiped it away
I remember I peed on a girl’s foot in line
to the diving board. If I saw her today, I’d maintain

it was dripping water, formerly
of ice, that it was unseasonably cold that day
not too cold

               Snow untwisted from the curtain
Duck, dinosaur, contagion fused together
We had to get out of the pool
There is no end, it seems, to these
lines that never touch

Why Some People Make It

I feel the weight
of a very large decision
left open to me, like
a container in the snow

I lie to a park ranger about
the temperature back home. 110 degrees!
You lie to an old lady about
how long we watched a flip-flop
flip in the glacial rapids, caught
in a whirlpool, not emerging. At least an hour!

Persistence, I point out. Arbitrarily
pointed persistence

Here, you say, passing me a stone
feel how smooth

Fish Gardens

those fish were caught by men
with their feet in water
those fish were caught by men
with their feet on land

in the middle, a couple of babies
pose for their wedding pictures
her dress is lumpy, leguminous
like it is actually cauliflower
his has a pocket for his phone

everything outside their body
is light. literal, actual light
light is decided upon in the brain
the brain is a folded leaf

this is can turn into anything
imagine we are fish swimming
in a man made water system
never have the edges to things
been more clear

Poem for Someone Who Died

i put on my rain jacket, boots, roll
up my pants, step outside

i see myself in the window
of my dead neighbor’s house

now that his front wall has been knocked down
i can see more – the beggar’s lice, the

packages lying in its burrs like dogs
i see myself in the rain, too

how each wet streak is at a loss
for the likeness of those around it

how they explode, reach in all directions
run off together.

the construction workers pull
a tarp over their wood. they fire

the last few nails from their nail guns
it sounds as though there is knocking

on all of the houses. someone
is in each doorway saying

here. i saw this
and i thought of you

Frances

If you were like this all the time
I could stay,
she said. I had just thrown
her body across the kitchen island
proceeded to kiss her everywhere
through her clothes
through her self

There is a thin layer of self
over everything. Plastic sheeting
covers whole neighborhoods. Hordes
of caution-taped men, marauding
Our skin the banks of a river

I remember going days
without drinking. I crawled out
to the river’s island, where the water
was clear and fast-moving, and I
let the water pour into my open mouth
My partner, who had gone

the same number of days
took out his knife and cut a stalk
of bamboo from the bank
He filled it up and stabbed
a hole in the bottom, to drink
from the steady drip

He did not trust what his body
wanted, which is everything,
which is to already have done
what is needed to do

Fish Could Mean a Thing to Say

it makes more sense
to pave
just two strips of driveway

or to drive on the lawn
repeatedly. one of my neighbors
threw a bunch of beer cans
down

and drove over those
now it’s flat, glinting
like scales
off a gut fish. they still add to it

a few Coors a night
during winter. sitting around
the campfire, cooking perch
the smell of a tree’s
tense changing

and i find it hopeful
that even
in this day
and age

there are still
hazardous settlers
we must burn
off our meat

and fish
to trick out of water
with string