Aubaine, Vespertilionidae & Widdershins
[ poetry - may 10 ]
Fragmented. Your face
is in the language of Beckett.
One side mirrors the other,
too symmetrical. But as the Earth
kicks back into motion with
a mechanical groan, they respond
to each other: one up, one down.
One rejected, one rejecting.
Is this what you really can't
have? Your lost love,
the one who got away?
albeit in the nick of time,
dutifully slicing the sphere
with a birth; which is proof,
which is equation, which
is free of any good punctuation
to tidy up fears of too many
new stars, endless universe expanding,
the lack or completion of God.
Breathe. And with that, count.
In another tongue you licked up
sounds that mimicked melody;
each pretty cloud blocking our sense
of space. This is what the astronomers
know. First, start with the alphabet.
Then work your way toward numbers
and names. Foreign bodies. Learning
to read. And only tonight we
picked up a new game, touching
fingers to collect the broken glass
littered across a bowl of sky.
Go down, down
where the oxygen goes away;
basement and sofa's sticky,
cement and centipedes,
burnt tinsel and blown-out bulbs.
Feel your way up
the steps, slats and splinters;
hands going through,
coming to get you -
that same old vertigo.
Down is up, half a floor
away from the graveline.
by people you no longer know;
boxed in the ears, blinking
geometrics - ghosts of flares,
photography in zeroes and ones.
And everyone stares, crosses lines
like your legs, tucked contritely,
tapping the night away
on an empty wrist.
Teenage kicks and Freudian slips,
down here; down between the legs
of a house standing sideways,
in a world tipped over.
Knob's on the wrong side
of the door, when you go.
You go up, like a fish,
Mark time against the counterpoint.
Out of line. Out
of line, son.
They could push you back in,
peel the wool off your skin, damp
and tattooed in scribbled notes.
Off the ledger, onto your sternum,
up your spine: they drew out every quiet
nocturne. You stood still, dark as night,
ink bleeding down your wrinkles and lines.
You would have bet against it.
I would have turned away. But we share
camouflage skin. It hides the beating of
each pulse point, but not the sound.
And someone will always find you,
trawl you in, unwinding steel
until it spools around a forefinger,
until you slide up against the light,
tiny pianissimo on the black keys.