let's eat like chicken envy. the coop
is pre-formatted & ready to welcome
whatever wolves have a promise to unkeep.
i am always hungry & i wonder
if it has anything to do with
watching the moon sweel into an oval.
the yolk bleeds down our shirts.
that is why we always bring a change of clothing
to the ceremony. i am drawing circles
around everyone i can find.
safety if often a matter of minutes.
a hundred years ago if we stood here
a dinosaur might have heard us & came
to check & ensure we were christians.
i keep the beast in the closet with my old shoes.
feed him thimbles & spoons of honey.
he will give me eggs as long as i
keep imagining my heart inside a little cage.
sometimes i wonder if i was a chick
without an egg tooth & this is all
just the white if the egg. i ate
the sun too fast. all the oranges
that spilled from my eyes & thunked
on the wet spring earth. have you ever
held an ostrich egg in your hands?
it is like holding a porcelain doll. it is like
carrying your own skull.
the bird weeps & i say, "just one more"
but i don't mean just one more.
we'll need enough to last a lifetime.
the ostrich hands me a jug of fireflies.
making do is a part of having a rib cage.
there will be more though. there will be more.
i am just not sure whether or not
the more will come for us.
i never intended to find the hoard.
my mother sharpens her knives
while she sits at the kitchen table.
our ceiling fills with beliefs. a bed frame
turns into an alarm clock.
i lay there & wait to be carried
by my scruff into the closet again.
i come to collect hearts. anyones but my own.
here is a bat's heart & a wolf's heart
& a deer's heart. flowers grow
where my eyes should be. our bodies
find all kinds of ways to protect themselves.
at times i have grown scales & others,
a layer of downy fur across my stomach.
i showed it to my mother
who shaved it off & saved it in a jar.
burried the jar alongside all of the others.
the daffodils tell me to crawl along the ground.
i cut my fingers on beer bottles
& meteors. finally then a tiny nest.
the eggs are smaller than i thought they'd be.
god instructs me to eat them.
swallow the dragon & survive.
they glow in their pill bottles.
submarines. eject buttons. my bones
are the longest high ways. a gas station blossoms
on my sternum. let's not pretend
we believed in monsters. we knew.
we go into the woods to find
where they are hiding their tongues.
crouching in a walnut's tooth gaps.
the whistling ghosts. we put our ears
to the dirt to hear the mushrooms
sharing love poems. when people hear
that mushrooms talk they always assume
they're conspiring. i think that's because
when humans talks quietly it is often
to destroy one another. no, the mushrooms
they are giving each other new names
& sewing holes in ghost deer faces.
together they invent new religions
to give the trees who rejoice. the trees are
always looking for something new to worship.
gods without teeth or eyes. gods
in the water. you tell me the mushrooms
we are conversing with are called "dryad saddles."
the mushrooms enjoy that & add the name
to their growing list. i wish i could
hear a tree fall & think, "soon that will be
home." i do not have mycelium
to extend & use to hear your memories.
i do not have gills or spores to spit
like little messengers. instead, i have knees
that flip like coins. heads or tails?
the mushrooms take pity on us.
together, they sing one of the oldest songs.
it sound like breeze & falling rocks.
then, i hear horses of wood. the birth of
a new tree. seed unfurling. a faint neck.
we leave & the mushrooms say,
"one day, one day" by which they mean
one day we will be part of them.
i climbed inside your ear canal
to tell you a story of calcium carbonate.
you were tolerant & flushed me out
with a saline solution.
in my dreams i run down a hallway
until it twists & we are just missing one another.
your tail around a bend. my antenae
scraping the belly of the moon.
i wish i was an animal that grew
my own protections. i guess i could be
if the ceiling had more eyes
& my heart was not a colony of toads.
always so hungry. always pulling me out
in the rain to search for headlights.
i know i am not coming home & neither
are you. but if i just had that kind of shelter.
o how i would craft each spire
& twist. knitting the fibonacci spiral
into my bones. here is where i fall.
a dark pit of the self. the cave fish
without eyes sing a song about
the unknown. i want to live in a space
where questions coil & unfurl
without danger. who is the monster
around the bend? am i in love with her?
did she once take her face off in my mirror
eyes first & lips second? i often will
crawl into the knotted bellies of trees
as my makeshift shell. speaking only
to my fingernails i say, "i only."
a snail greets me & promises to trade places with me
in whatever the next life is. i know he can't
promise that but for a moment
before a sudden thunder storm
i pretend that he can.
running w/o scissors
i'm asking myself "how am i going to cut
the cord?" there's no point in velocity
if you aren't going to grip onto
something sharp. i used to put fireworks
in my mouth & let my lover light them.
the forest was full of frog skeletons.
we ate poison berries. swallowed
clouds like pastry. there is always
the thing around your ankle. a string
or a strand of yarn. my mother used to
knit me pairs of eyes i could use
if i wanted to see a softer universe.
i have plushie dreams & plushie sadness.
the scissors are imperitive though.
you should always have an escape ready.
danger is measured in backyards
& electric wires & random phone number
calling to ask if you have time to be
a ferry tonight. i carry bodies to & from
my mouth. we arrive in a parking lot
& i root in my glove box. nothing sharp.
how do you look a man in the eyes
& say, "will you please wait
fior me to be armed?" he doesn't wait.
he snips a strand of your hair
& keeps it for himself. the trail
is overgrown with wild berries &
thorny bushes. there has got to be
a pair somewhere. inside, i run
with my bare hands. the day shaves me
down to the bone. the man says,
"it's just us." i think of the fireworks
& my lover & i can't remember
whose idea it was. mine or his.
i do not kiss him. my mouth is
the scissors i don't have. outside
squirrels cut holes in the coming night.
my escape is not so seamless.
is there a key board command for this?
i count the jesuses
in my parents house.
they collect dust & try
to get some sleep. i want to ethernet myself
into a story about giving
what is not yours to give.
you are one click away
from the ultimate sacrifice.
jesus is loading. is a spinning ball
of death. is availible
in seven to ten business days.
is experiencing some glitches.
i'm lit by a screen. the screen is
another ocean full of
beautiful sea monsters. i do not want
to talk to god. i never wanted
to talk to god. he texts me sometimes
& says, "quickly, i need your help."
i watch a live stream of
the crucifixation. someone says,
"turn the camera off" while
another says, "keep filming."
mary magdalene covers her face
& becomes a pixel.
the motherboard is in the shape
of a cross. i tell the machine
to update & shutdown.
wait in the dark of my room
to keep watching but there is nothing
by the time i log on again.
there is a screen saver
or else just the picture
of the inside of a mouth.
i cannot tell if it is moving or not.
you know what they say though,
once something is online
it's always online. i'm suggest a video,
"how to tell if you father
wants to kill you." i select,
"i'm not interested." open a private browser
& copy the link to watch.
i need a quarter for my face.
my head is a gumball machine
of blue little worlds. i do not use
a shovel to search for them;
i dig with my hands.
fistfuls of dirt & soil. the smell
of a crashed car. we used to eat
wild onions when we were starving.
the onions would wink at us
& we would have to pretend
they weren't once the eyes
of ancient boars. everything is hoofed
at one time or another.
i spent my eyes years ago
on another sunrise. you were there
with your bunkbed body.
you kissed me & turned me
into costume pearls. a string
around your neck. i hansel & gretel
myself back home. follow a trail
of discarded eyes i left behind.
daffodils blink & say, "you do not
want to know." i do though.
i want to know exactly how
& where they come from.
a basket in a grandmother's living room?
a factory full of thumbs?
i have no business wandering
so far from a source of light
but here i am in the fallow field
holding all the eyes i can find.
they are still not enough
& i do not know what else to do.
you take my hands in yours
& tell me, "let me show you."
i do not trust you. not at all.
last time i did you put my eyes
in your mouth & spit them like cherry pits.
you said, "i am your eyes now."
last quarter moon
hold your smile like a steak knife.
i want to lock the doors
but i know it is not yet time.
what do you do with the memories
you cannot bury alone?
everything is almost almost almost.
a cracked back door.
a tree hanging on by a wince. all the animals
carry their crown jewels
& rebury them where no one else
can see. i pluck out my eyes
like white grapes & ferry them
to a safe dresser drawer. the moon
has loose teeth. sheds all her nightgowns
for a portal into our aging sky.
birds fall like dropped shoes. i tell the moon
she shouldn't be spying on us
like this. she knows it is soon time
for her to sleep. i too can be found a sliver
in my bed. burning the midnight oil
& reading a headline about the end of the world.
i keep thinking, "isn't it here yet?"
the end of the world i mean. i try to cut
all my wants in half & then cut the half
in half. do you remember that strip mall
with the trader joes where we used to
always get in a fight? i loved the glow
of the shop fronts. once, we stood there
in front of your jeep & the sea gulls
took bites out of the moon.
i bet you it tasted like salt water taffy.
back at home your window
was full of light. the moon whispered you
all the glass shoes you wanted
& that i couldn't give you. now
once more, the can opener comes.
a glimpse at sweet honeyed peaches.
schools of raspberry fish.
i'm saying, "it's okay to watch me,
i am watching you too." a shared vigil
is just a love poem. i swear
i can see your tongue.
i go to the graveyard to talk to dirt.
plant mood rings beneath
the sycamore trees & ring pops
in circles around the baby burial markers.
return is a bread crumb trial.
what of myself will i break off
to find my way back to the oven.
i walk with so many halves.
a half a spirit. a half a gender.
a half an eye. the other half, living
with the worms & dreaming of granite.
here, the fields sleep with seeds
in their chests. soon everything will burst
& we will forget about the darkness.
well, not me. i am always trying to coax
a dead girl from a batch of weeds.
i am always telling her, "you do not need
to be so dead." instead of hearing me,
she swallows coal. lights mailboxes on fire.
takes a knife to the center of her palm
& draws a circle. the orbits we must sew.
here in the kitchen
the spearmint plant believes in restoration.
washing my face in the mouth
of a passing monster. he says,
"you look familiar." i tell him,
"this is my house." we are standing
in the midst of an ancient crossroads.
where the sun gets a foothold
& the crows shed their genders
like silk gloves.
we drive your old car with the bolder engine
& from the parking lot
the mountain whispers about us. you say,
"don't hold my hand" & so i make
a rabbit of my fingers & send them off
to rifle through the brush. i have reached the point
where i do not consider whether or not
it is safe for me to be queer somewhere.
i just say, "is this a good place to become
a monument?" it usually isn't.
in the store we collect rubber rats
& decide they are our children. i fill a shopping cart.
walk through a syrafoam graveyard.
everything is temporary & permanent.
you buy fangs & a bottle of fake blood.
everything smells like nowhere.
the wall of masks is patient. stares at us
from across the store. there is always
a crowd watching when you look
like a bouquet of heels. like a bowl of
truck stops. here is where i ask what it is
you want to be & you answer earnestly
& say, "a ghost" when i just meant
"what would you like to dress up as?"