10/01

these things will be okay

as long as i light a candle in 
each window. as long as i pray
to the right tree. as long 
as you wake me up at 4am 
to stand on the porch & watch
as the stray cats march towards
a bright next life. sleep is a new 
luxury. there is so much to miss.
once, i slept & missed 
all the fireflies of july.
another time i slept & didn't eat
for three years. right now
i'm held together by a string
of promises i'm keeping to 
the gnats in the kitchen. 
a harmonica spins in my soul 
like a haggard breath.
the gnats lick the sticky syrup 
from the surfaces of nectarines
& uneaten bananas. i make deals 
with minor demons to see their faces
in the bathroom mirror.
living alone is like living
inside your own voice. you would think
i'd start to sing but i use it less
& less. what is the point
of sound? my dogs started a book club
without me. i open the windows
to flush the place with cold. 
here is the winter talking.
soon i'll be able to use myself
as firewood. kindling hair.
fingernails curling towards
the moon. who knows if any of this works.
i set pumpkins by the door
& they turn into infants--wailing
until i pull them inside & feed them
mashed sweet potato. i hum to myself
a low tune with no words
& it summons a herd of deer.
i am beautiful in some corner
of this life & somewhere out there
you are a brilliant aching.
i dip a needle into your thumb
to sew mine to yours. 
thin little red string. 
don't wake up yet. 

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