Photo: Raydene Salinas


On the screen are a man and a woman. They are watching tv,
a program about the 1965 World’s Fair and the animatronic
president at the Illinois pavilion. They become distracted
by bodies: having them, and each other. They begin to undress.
Silk sleeve. An arm wants to be bare, and then it is. His shirt, her
shoulder, pants, pants. A shoe drops to the floor. One face
is on the other’s face, then it is somewhere else. Her hand
puts his body into hers. Their eyes close. And still the blue hum
of the tv to wash them. And still the sound of it, heard behind
the groans and gasps: the trouble was Lincoln was nowhere
near being operational. The simple system that ran the tiki birds
wasn’t advanced enough for Lincoln. To make him seem human
would need a far more complex mechanism; and it would have
to be packed into a very small space: Lincoln’s skull, to be precise.

On Voluptuousness at la Fontana di Trevi

Some part of everything
curves away from you.

Elegy for a Year

I’m going to get drunk tonight, in my home, by the side
of my own side, like a fishing village preparing for winter.

I’m going to unite myself with the hair of every former tenant
of my disconsolate thirty-year form. Something stifles

through the tender-grass. Strokes the pond on its hot slept heart.
I reach for my ghosts like Horatio. When I wake up again,

the day will have a saddle on. Even though it’s not yet sun o’clock.
Flashback, new years: my friend drops the hatchet on the hatchet

on love, and I can’t ignore the clacking in my shirt pocket
any longer. I reach up with a hand of milk: inside I find in threes

the small cool stones I meant to leave on the shelf of a memory
of the persons I lost. It’s what you do when someone’s family tree

falls in the forest and no one is around.
April rises like a giddy burn, its fists of one night

trading badges with the constables of the next.
I want to be shorn again as much as I want to never go back.

When someone lets me speak my anchor-song to Central Park,
spraying enormous air over the summer-ready company,

I feel briefly guilty. The crank I turn the world with
is such a hot thing. It uses the lungs of others like a coal-engine.

And it is for this reason that tonight I will be alone.
With my madness. With my menu of hors-d’oeuvres

with dug-out cores. And when I wake up again
to the tune of another year older, a clock in the sink,

I’ll see me as the remarkable being at the center
of a flat myth elephants think of as they sleep

on the talkative plains. I’ll be there among the tusks inside of me.
With the thing I hold that holds the thing I need.