Mnemosyne Threatens and Confesses
Sudden as your shadow, I’ll rip a pear-shaped hole in your night
(we’re past the Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration)
measure what does not exist—why this
because it’s still early in the world of tomorrow and each word is a new machine.
I edge your bed with passenger pigeons
fold your linens with Artemesian ache
(remember the blindfolded tour of the Parthenon
all that scrape and heat) and yet never again will you meet the new day soft-footed
(you were a funambulist you did water ballet).
Renounce the promise of doors—
the etymology of nostalgia is homecoming. Isn’t it enough that I flock the sky
with trumpeter swans
(here we enter onto rutted back roads)
haunt you with clues to your childhood—
beatitude and gingerbread—
as if you didn’t know. Do not regret not barber-poling yourself to anyone
(6am and as yet no warm whispers of everything).
Did I tell you about the woman with fatal familial insomnia
whose inability to sleep left her hallucinating and mute and finally dead?
O ghastly here ghastly now
you are so easily undone.
The Salary for This Work Is Marriage
I sleep like an old growth jack pine you sleep like a fireplace.
We invent things
like lust walls and sad bathtubs. It’s so pink this cork and sauté
I’d like to watch you swim tonight
and then open.
I’d like to settle the radio on a tiled window seat and water vacation plans
with buttered tea.
He was dress and watch
they were travel. You are wait like a ceiling
full of cracks.