in the desert a violin grows like a tree
& no one sees it. a bow too, coming up
from the sand. horse hair is abundant
around my organs. from the freezer, the ice cubes
chatter about escaping to a colder place
where they could live in the wild.
winter is coming soon. i left my jacket
in my last apartment. broken buttons
& a wonky zipper. thrifted from from place
in Brooklyn where me & you felt really cool.
i left the jacket before that
at a hotel room in Portland. i don't think much
about the violin but if i got in my car
& drove & drove & drove i could reach a desert
full of string instruments. the nights would still
be cold & my bones would still freeze up.
look at me, i'm a statue now. we talk about
how we can live anywhere we want in America
but somehow all the places seem
like doomed snow globes. winter is
coming soon. i'm scared of tornadoes. i'm scared
of a hurricane arriving with my mother's name.
why should i learn to play the violin?
i am too old to pick up new things.
besides, i have all the desert i need.
a bag of sand & a sense of aimless wandering.
there have been a lot of dead trees.
maybe this year i won't wear a jacket,
i'll just swaddle myself in my worries.
a stream of light is peering through a fissure.
i take my tarot readings too seriously
& sometimes not seriously enough.
i could be a polar bear if i tried harder.
i could grow tadpoles in the sink.
nothing is alive anymore. when was the last time
you saw a bird? the vultures don't count.
i do live in the desert. cactus blossom
from my forehead. windows open. hallway
filling with scorpions. the violin--
where is the violin? if could just play something
a single song then the neighbors would know
i'm not just a quiet man-- i'm an artist
worth contemplation. i can tell
no one is thinking about me.
it might be better that way.
a stoplight bursts from the ceiling.
red light red light. porcelain raven
on the mantle. i don't have a mantel
i just have a house i've built
in my heart. there is no city
just a desert. tuning the sky.
four strings. dry skin. blue morning.