The tree outside the barbershop
was struck down
night, its Siamese
flung to the
the afflicted area
as if to fence in
the tragedy, or
the location of
from the open
the aroma of
a pure body.
lineage. there’s no escaping tradition. histories drag
behind me like so many beaded pearls.
my name is your name is the name
that knows me, commands me,
medicates me, you see—
blood is not thicker than
blood mixed with
expectation and ether.
we are hooked
to this jubilant operation
ex(or)cisions in the name of survival
in the name of joy, in the name of virtue, of
some tapestry of souls.
how do you isolate
a muscle, or a single woven thread.
out of context, what is a daughter?
[I do not
remember what it means to be birthed]
so conjoined are we, the harmonized that I will tug on your
heartstrings and bring myself to weep.
If eyes are the windows
then ears are the doors, flesh waves in
every gentle roar. I hold the memories
of August in my ribs,
when the moon felt like teeth—
in the dark of scaffolds and juniper trees,
I recalled the things I both fear
& revere like graveyards at dusk
or elderly librarians; things which
linger in spite of physics. And
the sonata blew through
me in windsong while the leaves
thronged to forgive
me my earnestness. I am fluent
in all of my lacks—how I have
claim to neither rubble nor soil. It is said
the moon, too, was once earthen
debris: an involuntary gasp
floated from the lips
of the firmament
& how to learn moonlight
when you’ve never seen at all?
(the slipp’ry smooth of a seashell,
a flute’s hollow lilt)
Image: Photographs of a Falling Cat, Public Domain Review