I give you a feeling, sweet jasmine, an absence
of feeling, an overthinking, a compilation
of gratitude, a composition of lamps
as faces floating in the summer
kitchen. I give you a glass of mint tea, a limit, kept
to myself a bone I knew was named but not that one could feel
in one’s body that, sitting, grew-stripped down into a new feeling
without a name. I grew-shrank a new way to not feel. I gave you
an expression of reticence, marvel at the smell
of cut grass, singed greasewood, marvel at belief, at contact, at lack
of contact, deflated intensity, devalued
currency, a drop-off, a dropkick, a look
on the staircase, angular light I forgot possible, a misheard
derision, an accurate vulnerability, a bowl of
hips, a bowl of ancestor.         I might need
to lay down for a minute, I keep getting these waves
of I keep getting underfoot; the ground
waves up at me; I’m piling on layers
of feminized plastic; I keep getting tired.       I’m always afraid
of being rebuked—might as well give you a reason. I mean
I’m always afraid. I meant
to be granular, attenuated. I grew-back
what it means to desiccate, what it means
to be a bottomless sky. I might need to know. What is light
redacted; what is light reflected? Sure
we never got to the golden hour, the gender
exit clouded over; our soupy swim back into
the ordinal—no bottomless body
of water. No mammal outside or in. Shame
about my body shame
about my body shame about
my body.          What good is a white person’s firm
handshake, what good is a table
made of paper, an opposable thumb, a tail
bone, a repression, more notes toward
evaporating first? Sticking my landing
around the dialectic. One last
question; one last pull quote; one last stand
around in the same spot years later waving
dollars.            I gave you a bottomless lake,
then my thirst. I gave you a limit.
You moved it. I grew-up in
a bathtub. I grow nameless. I grew a boiling
river. Medicine formalizes, spreads.
[Write a list of ripplings.]
Say a people took, a people taken,
who turned south, sour, tricks, turned up
noise, up elsewhere, up late, turned out
all right, wrong, faces blossoms
left lying unlit, each spine yet to
detonate, sugared dark wick of neck,
white sand, vines hooked to explosives
underwater, sugared milk, milky
dirt, real blood, municipal
ruins, digital ruins, ideological
rubble sifted to sugar, salted. High schools
unburning, the father gasping, the pelts
zipping back around the foxes.
Say vortex, say sick, say
lattice, say needles, say finger-smeared.
Say bodies inside this body; say fight flight
freeze. Freeze. Freeze, dummy. Write a list
of what happens to bodies
not allowed to move. Write a list of the reasons
for freeze. Write what happens when an alarm
never turns off. Write a list of the reasons
for fire. Write a list of which bodies drown inside
their bodies. What could we be
but wounds. Say olive, brine, say pillar
of salt. Don’t say Inside me hot
soot blows through empty
rooms. Don’t say I’m a boy
on fire / a boy set me on fire. Too
easy. In the basement, a shallow
pond is frozen over. Like all our water,
it’s warmer now, rising
slowly. Old
arrowheads surface.