[When the rain breaks]
When the rain breaks, finally
slipping from the thunder
that has rumbled and blown itself
dry heat and dust
around and down
the valley here for --
(it has been weeks since any water
broke from this wide sky, this wide mouth
of desert sigh like a desire
and the wind keeps thrusting her, as if she likes it
deep and thunder dry
but weeks and weeks and yet -- why, why)
When the rain breaks,
and the wind dies,
the peach tree ceases its wide circles, branches slowly flailing
like a drowning man,
and that fat eye
of sun, the one that wants her like a fuck he's having
but still can't quite have
goes soft --
a blink, a gesture of completion
the water runs in rivulets across the roofs and roads,
along the gutter in a gurgle that suggests that
it was always so, somewhere this rain was certain tea,
and now, even when we longed for it long time
its coming was a softness, and the grass unclenched her fists
and the peach twists open cleanly in my hands
and salt burns on my lips.
The Origins of Music
were mysterious to her: at what point
did someone draw a line between
the sounds made by her mother's arms and
the sounds made in her mouth?
Sugar was called sugar and
tongue was called bad language --
never say that, they said, never
which made everything delicious:
forbidden words rattled, seed-like in the husk
of some new instrument, something shimmery
Things Which Restore Faith In My Ability To Handle It
Anything that yubbers
like a holler, woodwind or that deep seesaw
of the lower organ.
The newest nub of aloe
nudging from the female
center of two loaves meeting.
Stamps of approval:
red ones, blue ones,
official and initialized.
Seed beads, flax seeds,
kindly postmen and crushed ice,
something in a garden that is cobalt blue.
Thick paper that yellows, aging
to patina in a basement. Anything
I've carved into an opal, or a spoon.
Mr. Cicada's Escort Service
The client desires some time alone
to think. The client wishes to be
somewhere darkened and enclosed,
preferably where the roots are moist
and nutrient rich, and the earth above
can press softly on his larval body
like a plushy thunder blanket. As
those contracted to attend his pleasure,
we must respect his wishes. If the client
says he can't commit to when
the right time to emerge might be,
we must trust his instincts. How
will we know when he's come
back to the surface? Why, because
the sucker promises to don a top hat,
sing a siren to the heart of Dixie,
and then dance us all out of our
sorry skins. See them, stiff and
glistening, gems of past-selves
and shed worries, clinging fierce
and delicately to the bark of trees.
Can I Eat That
So long to days of
trust your nose. So long, popsicle.
So long, chard. Today the lettuce root
is thick as my wrist, twisted red and
the kind of white that only comes
from underground. So long, summer.
So long now.
The dog is licking the sweat off
my neck. The dog is licking his own
paws. The dog is licking something
dirty that he brought inside. The wind
makes the world wave all its hands.
When the wind kicks up,
it blows the middle number off my house.
The needles flick down off the trees,
pinpricks of time passing on the skin.
The biggest may be dying. Its branches
shed and gather, sound like rain.