Rusty hinges are an ocean’s way of thinking with its hands. It doesn’t imagine a flat earth but neither does it understand umbrellas. I think in broken locks, in eulogies for the underneath, old Polaroids, magnetic norths. This month I plan to advocate for sleep’s autobiography, if only I can liberate it from the poetic line. I agree to carry sleep’s ashes, should it come to that, through the badlands, astride a dark horse of my own making. It’s 1968 all over again, only summer has never arrived or is perennial. In the iron precincts, seasonal disorders appear regular as rain. No more troubadours immigrating from the south, just this intermittent beat, the sleepwalker tracing a line of nevermores through streets named Ocean and Del Mar. I’m sure I’ve been here before, the dream announces. On second thought, what’s the image of twice— the exact weight in cloth of once and always.
We Learn the Names of Things
as they pass, note the countries where the garroting of songbirds is still practiced or the captive voice first begins to unspool— the softening gate of the eye closing over a sequence of empty wings. Of what is devotion made if not delay— door leaned into an empty field, sudden rain at rest, a sodden yes. The sullen waters will overrun the night’s low branches but a thin scaffolding remains. We have made of this place an alphabet without sound, an October improvised out of wire and thread. This is how we learn to count— first the bird on the branch then the branchless tree. Finally backwards sky to chance to leaf.
Brief As We Are
We still hope to know what of us is mineral and what flight, what perches inside us with folded wing— the wild raven, or the ravine carried in its chest. Who wouldn’t want to sleep lyrically even as sleep slips from us, seeking a kinder host. Fox by the stream drinks without excess. We are nothing if not multisyllabic, a yonder and a diagrammed sentence. A cave that leads to morning. Foxes folded at the x, summering under the grammatical sun.