For C. Acita 

It is a repetitive concern, chopped out by erasure. It is a bird beating in a wet bag near your hair, near your childhood hair in the sun. It is the dun and tangerine loose, treading, dipping, stunned. Déjà vu the moment your body is a circle, perfect. And what do we speak of, again? The mind, the mind, mistakes, the tangerine light... None of it definitive. A grease spot on the photocopied Modernist photograph. Mine and yours but mine. You keep it close, the mine that asks. Will I frame the frame the hands in a way so they are actually? Lines stained with color drifts along more than the crevices of flesh. It is a repetitive concern, partially disliked. Still it must open, must descend like the light shattering around your head for what boundary? 

Take the pilgrim track to anywhere until you are able to begin or just call it the overland consistency. Night platforms out there. The logic of the shadow of trees. On the wall is a searchlight like a shadow. It might sound the same as before, it might feel like confession. Your situation deserves a word. Still you guess without answering or burying the want. The night, your body expressing its solitude in rhetorical action. And you are recalled to yourself what disappointment. Isn’t it wearisome how winter opens pink, and in the afternoon, and through a sharpened lens? One takes the step and whiplash or home. 

Will you take this from me? She whispered that she wanted to trade. We read the papers and watch their trail in the wind on good days. It is unremarkable, a flower growing below concrete. How long was I searching for red dust... He mixes it with spit and paints it where certain organs grow beneath the skin. It is the context I cannot provide.

That will rob you of good sense and proves it by lighting a match with no cigarette. He stops trying, preferring miracles. Stucco, wild birds, obsidian,
flesh. I have traveled to you, but then? The thunderclaps. The hallway upstairs intoxicating where he placed his hand against the wall. All this rushes forward. It’s the string he sings about, drugging his metaphors. He will not rise up and tear the thing. Those same fingers (isn’t it curious) one sits back to relax, those same fingers dug into a mouth.

What to conserve? From the top of the hill what is out of reach. Comes across a trouble fully matured. Our pleasure below trees marked for whir and crack. A digital rainbow is caught in your ear but could not make it sweeter. The architecture is bricky, our hearts weary. “I’m hard for me,” said a child on the periphery. You look that way with wet pen, but a new locus is already scoped.

I keep my hiding place only until it is gone. Now I show it to you as if it were an entirely different place. We use each other’s eyes. What is there to borrow that will not be changed? Fair dusk sprinkles down implausibly, outside two birds collide, the ceiling is high and lovely. I want to get descriptive with you. I want to give you all my appearances to keep. 

Rectangle of debt. The apartment reeks of cleanliness. Immobile, imagine putting fabulous crimson clay on the lips. First you let a new face show itself, and then you dive. Sometimes there is less. Yes, to remember how your mother whispered it down the hall. Those first waves of lateness. 

You asked me to show off the renovation. Your hand finds my face bent on the doorknob. It’s time to consider other ways. It’s time for clocks, locks and cut hair. I’ll walk lighter near the glittering slag heap. And then clover, a breeze dries your sweat-stung skin. Vapid flies, the foreground in the restive trees. I can sense your fear but you say, “I like this one.” I like the clarity of your speech. The land winces and sways. 

Ravenous content stares back from behind the plinth, barely hidden. Blinks. All animals have multiple fortitudes. But I’ve stalled out at the face. I’ve taken the wrong side of my favored street. I’ve beckoned and resorted to evidence. 

Languishing in the new heat, beating pop music from a stone. Some horror of de- stroyed love that I won’t contemplate, so it passes into me whole. And then onto me? The sweat drips and a truth will be revealed soon enough in fear or movement. The mouth means to do it all. The mouth, penitent, admitting, swiveling round and beforehand. Out of reach. 

This is vicarious. Auto, fresh, how much I like. In a dark, flaunting forest of instable love. I submit and would like approval, said the secretary I keep. I submit and keep diligent track of your failures. The weather sloughs it off, rain rain rain. I write down your name. And what of lovely doubt then? They scribble and their gambles hurt. 

A seaside without ghosts? He grew up in a lonely town. She was afraid to move past the girders, written in English, toward the road. They knew something, the dark bent in distant lights. Clay chalks, greys and purples that fan out and die. Voluptuous, alien trees shifting their limbs on the timber line. And everything small and strange today, small and strange, rocking a mantra to sleep. Names are caverns you can only adjust to—seek me or move out of my way. 

His eyes had narrow targets for them now—certain materials, textures. A piece of bleached driftwood along the canal, broken concrete dirt-lodged, wet leaves in shallow puddles like dark glass. Things that glow. In his mind where skill and intuition merge, he judged them without thinking. Could he join them? Could these fit? In their beauty flashed his limits. 

Now he saw her as a cut-out, a figure of himself facing away on the sand. The waves all one body. The overcast sky, the beach deserted at—his one body is uncomfortable. Strands of her hair where the wind had been. Wanted to move. She seemed to be still smiling into a sun now hidden. Walked past her, straight into the breakers, rays of light opening the surface again. All rainbows, all shards of all gold and all glass. Looking back, she was disappeared over the dunes. 

Somewhere afterward he found a place to build himself. He felt stronger in his habits, as they grew soft. He elaborated himself beyond memories, beaches, trains and claustrophobia. It grew around his new life, a vegetative love of the present. 

Now he met himself one evening returning home. In the last light, the thing was lit through. It was large, reefy with various densities. It had achieved the height of a room. Light glinted low in red, green, yellow and burgundy glass. Light hung on the edge of a piece of lacquered wood, crept along the dull iron skeleton of the thing. It was too ugly or too complicated to behold. 

The hermit dies. Like two fingers inserted into the throat and parting slowly, time re- entered painfully. Now he would be measured against the lack of hiding places. The axis of the past fell heavily into place. Time had survived. 

She wakes shivering, way down in the night like a stump of charcoal. In Mid-Atlantic forests with no leverage in this world. Don’t speak in the name of a girl. Singing a song about an icon to pass the time, soft grips of new grass, tightening wood as it dries, sweat in the armpit. She rips her leg and licks it. Don’t speak for her. 

It’s grim as a zoo in here. At the table, shoving everything off the table. Hothouse. Busy passage, sleeping throat, North Star. Vegetable moon. It’s as sad as feeling, kept in here. Hesitate—slap in the face. Hesitate bloom. 

And I wished I would never have wished to arrive. Now sculpture of the flesh. Now hand punched through paper bag. Hair drawn tightly to the scalp, the drawn tight with meaning... Repeating never and always, never, always, bleeding. Resting on the stoop. Had thoughts of trees but flaked off, dead skin. Trying to fell the feel, the real abandoned. Flaked off, old skin. 

I am waiting, sockless. I am waiting contorted with rage, so I’m fiddling with the proof. So we’ve opened the window together. How long it all took. Looks up from the photograph, vacant lot, wide dud of earth. I am committed to this, I say, with a gibberish wave. 

Cold flow over black river, silk rock. Sinew of arm, sinew of water rock. I’ve heard my voice grasping at report. Trees lean their necks down to the river to watch. Voice grabbing at water, and the hand finds the deep, cold spot.

Not knowing reticence to be lovely. Laurel dripping, Queen Anne’s lace in bad light. “There’s a fog here, I’m sure of it.” Tiny voice growing, chipping cold water into the throat.

If you need a story, remember it. One shock—I’m two. Now start forgetting slowly... rainwater gathering in the blades... the musk. Expectations in the crook of the arm like a storybook. It’s vapors invading and slowing the path. 

He is not wearing shoes. She is not wearing make-up. Mom drinks of wine. Dad thinks of clocks. Who will be translator. Today. And how long will it take to forget. Today, like the type in the buttoned-up books. The decorative purpose spreads out, all the same bleach- stained shirt. White river bird stopped. 

Dark photocopies, wrong name. Light, rural waste. She becomes mystical looking at glittering things. River, bird, toy sets behind train. Light blue smog and no penitence. My idiot needs things, she allows it to think. She feeds it, persuading. Past fading faster than she sinks. 

The stars are repressed, but I’ll hold them in mind. Against the reek and the ice cream tickle. Against the art flat and the sold, floating sign. Anonymous stars. I’ll hold us in mind with our great, shared asemic graffiti. 

Freedom cursed and blind. Curdled pathos, adulations. The whole bevy of not-sins are dumb. Bitter one-liners, temporal maneuvers, dared obsolescence, overwritten mine. Interrupted, begin. Stave in color. Begin. 

You accident. Go down to the beach. In the dunes, I still see slag piles shine. War, image, language, shame. My aim is true. Oh, what an aim. 

What is that pale, blue indentation? What is that grey lozenge of fog? Coherence surrounds it. Then later, amalgamated. Stern, blown-out details. Here are the real people wearing their masks. Dangling and truly impressive. Now is that Mom weighing heavily in? Is that Dad’s ugly shoe? You thought about the mask of love. But there, you see some fingers clustered in the dust. And what would you say it all meant to you? 

She knows dirt and leaves for a failed season. There was a cave with a mouth. It did not grow either. The cave was a cul-de-sac, arrived information. Fingers grope the insects for something more detailed. An index, but here is orange thickening and the night growing deep into her soft, soft hair. 


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