The Astronomer’s Curfew
It is not just the sky
steamrolled by hospice clouds.
Too, the inner-curvature
of calcium, you
in to this impulsive (& frankly),
self-pleasured time. When
from a young age, you
unpuzzled the stars in to couplets,
in bars, everyone agreed.
The tune: 1st quarter
with drunken precision
right in to the slot;
vintage 80s bones, waxing
gibbous—now, nearly 2020,
meagerly squinting out
blurred, black tridents
turned on their sides.
Oak leaves will soon fall
in crescent shadows
across brick shopfronts
& onto re-cemented trail in
blindfold-purple, incurious light.
Is it so: inside our
bones, we are scything
the cane, walking away from
the stipends & perks & payouts
—they bury the blues
of this most honest of skies:
arrange us, sowing pastures
of no actual life:
cranes, pelleting buckwheat
under a stomach of clouds.
hide & seek around the base
of the volcano; dusking little shits
running our endless energies, out
in to the dead-end, Carolina yard.
Yes. There were volcanoes then.
Pah-sta with red sauce, Breyer's &
Sega Genesis, a decade freckled
in the roiling: our childhood home
on 412 Waterside Drive.
Now, we are unobvious. Old, our
hearts less playful, dusked, tough.
To revisit, once more, that tectonic
edging (dark equates to good), to
dangle from sentences of rope over
the mouth, I refuse. There was heat
& there was light down in that deep
stanza of earth. It fed skyward, sent
our volcano like tree sap, running.
Yes. All of this running, for me
down there, in an actual heaven.
Far down in a center of the earth.
I was brought up from sleep
having swallowed a stink bug.
In self-defense, it ejected its spray
of bitter bile & I was unable
to breath deeply for an hour.
The press of coffee tasted
But eventually, my body
fought back the ancient chemical
—it is always trying to straighten me out.
I ought to be thankful for
my internal pharmacy. I am not. Something about gratitude seems dishonest
or forced, when directed at my
faculties. No, it is not just that. All sorts
of gratitude, even as a little boy
with zero axes to grind, like hiccups—
it has always gotten caught in my craw.
There is suicide in it.
The gravel-rote elm leaf
leaning out over Johnson grass
seeking a shade more sunlight
though brushed dusty by the gusts
of tractor tires, does not dismay
my feet. Though they lose
traction; stumbling daily over
a replacement of blue stone
they carry on. My body
is not a sail, not like the tractor
—not like yours. My body
is lead, a lodestone, sinking
ever-deeper in to clay, unfettered
by Ra’s endless victory dance
about the climes.
The Missing Pages
In our deeds
I am your past.
behind the wall
we are the
I no longer
to let go
The great Houdini
opened a door
looking for mother
on the floor—a
case run cold.
In the tunnel
below the plant
an endless cycle
of all suffering