I wasn’t paying enough attention to my apple and bit my tongue

Tongue (not macintosh)
is another planet reappearing;
incisors mash heavy muscle pulse
and warm your head.

Like seeing the the sun a white
(black) dime in the pond,
glittering too directly
for one small processing unit.

Flip. I
will not stare
into the black hole
in the water.

I will not
redden my eyelids
while pond pulls lost
maple leaves to dam.

Do you see the rest
holding ecstatic sunlight
with pines and birches?
tangible;

how you are not afraid
they are watching your feet.
Your bitten tongue is a crust
of dry leaves at the dam,

modest sun
snail-
mailing planets
back to you.

banana bread

that unmistakable smooth yellow fruit
pounded into a loaf shape
like flour and water and sugar
is still calling me
from crusty bits of chocolate.

Calling me because
there’s been a misfire
in someone’s neurons.
There’e been a misfire
in how the hose fits the radiator,
spraying antifreeze through the front.
There’s been a misfire in how I remember
the smooth taste of pumpkin, mashed in
chocolate chips, and how long
since you last made my favorite bread.

But that’s life, you’d say,
I’ve been busy,
you know.

I agree. We’re all too busy
trying to fit the stars in their correct
shapes, trying to plug up the little holes
in the curtains.
Either that or the dust will get to it first.

It’s not right, you know,
how we’re always looking at bananas upside down.
We wouldn’t know. We didn’t pick them,
didn’t climb the trees, didn’t wait for it to ripen,
didn’t enjoy the banana before it turned brown.
We’re failures as monkeys, after all.

lullaby

One of the blinds is crooked,
the other one is straight.

Both of them let in ambiguous amounts of light.

In their anti-purpose, shapes are made:
A coffee table, a rug, a pencil sharpener.
And I think these things belong.
But already the light has moved out of my eyes.
A nebulous cloud follows my hand and valleys
to the point.

The shadows are reflections.
imprints of coasters and a mirror and cereal box
that counter its presence on the table.

If the darker, flatter path weren’t there
perhaps the scattered handles wouldn’t exist.

And perhaps they won’t exist,
is what they are telling me,
what the light reads to me slowly
as the sky sinks my tired gaze into the furniture,

that because the room withstands the passing of the day
someone will deconstruct
the shapes and take them
from this room.

haven’t lost heart

write something simple,
gentle,
strong from the heart;

you haven’t lost it,
have you?

No, no it’s in here somewhere.
I saw it when I was searching for the house keys.
It was bright and soft
and confused me because I thought it was my lucky charm.

That old rabbit foot?
Yeah, that old thing. I do hope it’s not really a foot,
that wouldn’t be so lucky.

No?
No.

How long- when did you find the house keys, anyway?
Not too long ago,
maybe last week, or yesterday;
It’s not like I do anything different between the days.
But I know it warmed me, the old heart did.
It was such a find!
Like waking up to snow again after a long gray time!

Yes? Just like that?
Finding the morning light amplified,
so clean and fresh and a perfect reason to live in the cold-
don’t you think it would be warmer, though?

Well, perhaps.
But inside I always feel warm when it snows.
My toes won’t say so
but I do.
And my whimsical heart sits with such a grin-
you wouldn’t believe me if I said it makes deep pockets
and smile lines, it’s my heart and it’s grander than I.

One Captain

Fishing vessels enter and leave the harbour almost like clockwork. Six out of the seven days of each week, they face their broad noses out to sea. Each time, the captain fearing, on approach of a dark horizon, maybe I won’t come back. And then the reassurance that being suspended in limbo might not be so different.
He doesn’t live much, except between abrupt edges of boxes and the cool breeze of a cigarette on a sunny day. He’ll never smoke inside, though, and never on deck.
He picks up his toothbrush in his tan fingers and tolls the thing around the crevices in his palm. He’ll then shove the minty thing around in his jaw until he feels clean enough. There are days when he is sure there cannot be any scum left in his mouth, other days, he is unsure why he bothers.
This captain doesn’t eat fish. He’s seen too many beady eyes unplunged from their life. It used to be that he could picture Jesus saying to him ‘Lower the nets, now, my dear Captain. Trust me, you will reap a great many fish.’ And he’d stand in awe at what colors magnified in the oily scales, half thankful for the income. But like shells and rocks from the ocean floor, they lose lustre when dried. He doesn’t correlate out of the sea with death, because if you go back tomorrow, more glittering rocks have rolled in.
At sea, the captain loses his worries. He is where he stands. The little rooms comfort him for a while, and then he can reach his fingers into infinity. The sky pulls him up and forwards and he understands. It’s the same color in a fish’s eye. He believes the fish is part of eternity. Mindnumb. Accepting. A god. A part of God. A drop in the bucket of God. And some days, he’ll imagine his eyes, too, are the colors of fish. The more he thinks, the better the salt spray feels on his skin, waking his senses, cementing his pores into a solid thing. That’s when he knows he’s in control of his body. Then he and his crew will stomp port and starboard turning on machines and moving and hauling and forgetting to hear the sounds their work makes.

from the pith

Leaves forfeit after all, dismounting and falling away almost like snow,
their branches and buds are bare.

Red and yellow are the only pure colors left to die.
Blue shrivels up with the sun’s casting-off–

I have pushed lucid hints out
to sea, it is a scape,
a bull, a let-it-go-this-too-shall-pass,

I converse drought resistant Others
with you,
behind closed eyes of silence
and watch mothers, brothers, sisters, fathers and their pithy chlorophyll descend
finally to where we are.

Dear stranger, I have to thank you
for not kicking me or turning a green eye, cold.
I have to thank you, for dancing when I wish to pull the land around me, with all of its twiggy crusts.
And, dear stranger, I am sure now
there is no such thing as being lost, but
we must not let ourselves hollow away.

From this side of the Skull

My chewing probably bothers the guy studying a table over.
It probably wakes up my tired housemate,
Probably pops her from a warm dark place, suddenly aware
Of a gnawing metronome, shifting and rummaging and tasting;
You can probably hear it in outer space,
an alien on the moon with a stethoscope
Smirking curiously, Ah human,
You may be what you ingest,
But you are not
as quiet!

present

you’re looking past your hands
like they are an old man
picking up tennis balls
too slowly, too meticulously,
marveling at the bright yellow gems
he’s putting in a metal basket.

first, human, then perfect.

From beneath a sultry cloud
pokes a brown pair of Birkenstocks
and just above that,
on the side closest to me
joined by eminent bones and skin
exists an ankle,
wholly visible from the pue.
Who would have thought
something so human
such as a well used ankle
lives below Father John’s
white robes?