At the approach of his severed head,
the blood of St. Januarius
started to boil in its vial.
The miracle, it’s said, dressed down
Your red monoammonium phosphate
dissolved in boiling water
cooled into crystals
—almost, it seemed, living—
that left us breathless.
So after all the chat re: ecocide,
to see some cyan Tic–Tacs,
almost the color of icebergs
dissolving, it’s said,
like the revenge of the Titanic
and the cherry Fanta our infanta spilled,
ice cubes and all, pooled
with every portent
under a sun that dressed us down
to the pale of my cradling arm.
It was a miracle narrowly averted, the day
I died or would die.
But when I saw the map of the flood plain,
keyed in two shades,
the hundred–year and the five–hundred–year,
I was just floored.
I was on the floor
trying to stick a push–pin in my unlabeled street.
My arm ached
from a vaccine brewed in eggs and thimerosol.
A health flier
chimed eerily with the consumed metropolis,
posing the question,
Are your drinks consuming your weight loss?
under, of all things,
a smoothie. A pink, official form of something,
as like to the roseate
spoonbill as our derricks to St. Narcissus.
required him to turn water into oil.
Heading into Lent,
it felt miraculous to be gazing down into blue,
a push-pin dowsing
for the address of my little house.
Billiards not orchards …
Fallen by the pit bull’s caldera–like waterbowl,
Fallen likewise the sidewinding arm of an oak
I’m thinking has some
relation to shipbuilding not only for its perpendicular grain
but for the high polish
of its elongate acorn, which I never see hulled
for all the squirrels
I see in the air that they castle; for all that they were logged
because never waterlogged;
for all that the sidewinding arm might pitch something
beyond the hearing
of the nightingale St. Francis had a singing contest with
but not beyond the pit-bull
who won’t be placated when the next gale plays pool.
By the tooth of St. Cuthbert
I swear I’d rather be sent down the river Were
than wheel this backyard crematorium
to the underpass where the crackheads
could use a little grilling.
I’d ask why the gate was agape
yet no crumb taken,
not even this crematorium piled with soft ash
of cherry woodchips;
not even the mosquito repellant.
As a fire sucks on a cherry woodchip
I was slow to see the hen,
the stock–still hen,
lurking around the urns
of mint and rosemary,
the only herbs ornery enough
to survive the freezes. This was where
my gardening had been arrested
last August thanks to a
St. Marcarius, in remorse
for killing a mosquito, sat in a swamp.
How soft the hen,
when I handed her back across the fence
with my intrinsic mitts.
It’s so odd that at last
a little black lamb became my shadow.
A schnoodle. A Puck.
As the parachute behind the dragster,
I’m blown into parataxis.
I’m on my way to school,
blown into parataxis,
like Mary and her little lamb.
The palms are frapped
in the hyper–zephyrs.
And when I make much ado
about calling my father
and encountering his dementia
while looking across the room,
to catch my son,
and my father in his face,
then I remember the Mary
who conjured snow
on the fifth of August,
marking her territory.
I’m blown into parataxis
with relation to a red leash
and a schnoodle’s fugue.
He says, I’ll raise you a black sheep
from a lamb shadow.