Bring a green chair into this shed
made of light. Hold still
watching the sailboats with their small
beaks sing through the night.
A flapping of clouds, some wings
that don’t work. The last two demands
I’ll launch into the ether: don’t stop
the beauty from thrashing my head
so gently in the mornings,
but also don’t let me off the hook
with my blunt need for evidence.
For example, one hundred smiles
from your made up face. The fly
with its head banging into the window
wants out though he’s stupid
in his unlucky method. He’s dumb with his need.
I’m feeling some feelings that I’m
troubled about, not because they’re wrong
but because they’re the kind that end.
I’m wondering if my face is bright
enough. Advice that I read from a postcard:
I wish you were here. Maybe I interpreted it
incorrectly. The words seem so simple
& so obviously right. It’s summer again
& the air is around me. Night follows
sunset & the cycle is endless. These days,
when I say forever I hope to believe it.
Before I would scream it & try to outrun it.
Today I’m in favor of standing right here.
A UNION OF ELEMENTS
We snarl when we sing because of the tree,
how it looks better after a catastrophe
of lightning or after the snowstorm that knocked
the last stupid leaves loose from the branches.
After we wrote one poem we immediately wrote
another though we lost our place in the din
& had to hire a new orchestra. We start each sentence
with the husk of the previous one, we remember
the past by altering it with new professional techniques,
with drama, with menus. We danced
real quickly because the night was ending
though it’s okay to keep moving as the sun
starts to catch us. Suddenly we see exactly
what we were trying not to look like – like people,
like regulars, like something that nobody
could ever love. Isn’t that the secret we hope doesn’t show?
The worst repercussion for the candle kicked to the floor
isn’t that it goes out, or that it makes too big a fire,
but that it just keeps burning not greater or less.
We wonder if it’s okay to make up new names
for the new things we do or if they’re too much like
the old things & we should just keep on going.
Sometimes we pick only one of each kind of flower.
because we want what we’re holding to look like a mess.