The Busiest Body

I’m lucky, ghostly lucky,
when I start roaming
and recognize the sign on the door.  
That’s when I whisper
to the nail, “you know
you little heathen
what you have done,”
And then I stand over
the ditch, most of my belongings
impounded. Fenced in now,
what a dirty morning—
scabs on the chairs,
weeds, with their machine
hearts, whining.

Without a flinch,
she took the bet, and I had
a giddy sense that
what remained would be delivered.
The tip of her ear dripped,
staining her collar,
the elm drips, the earth drips.
She pinched a talon
and held it out to me.
Wise up, I’d tried to say,
and my ears filled like pockets.
How do I register myself? 
Am I beating? 
Is air leaving my mouth?
There’s minutiae— 
glue drying in corners,
arms held down with string.


• • •


That’s the Moon Trying to Leave the City            

and getting caught
on the border of night.
Politely I have to do it,
re-construct what I didn’t want
to know.  The cipher delivers
the living—the few and
their sentences flip and
swell up.  I had no
treatment for it,
we couldn’t shield her anymore.
I know we’re at cross purposes
as the heads of orchids keep time,
turn cheeks. An opening was sprung
by a latch near her dresser,
and a breeze falters inside
my sternum, letting
the slow dispatch begin.

Our trade consisted
of a filthy tote bag for
a hair brush.
With this waking,
she values how easily
a new message can blow across
like ash, its vibrato
rising off the cement.
Now what costs to be negotiated?
Wait for the sugary taste,
as threads hang from
her hem, and not a lick of rain
on the steps, but the last hum
makes a stitch that 
tingles in her sinuses,
darts around her head.