unreality

everything is so far away.

through the crisp smatter of brightblue autumn air:
yellow leaves drift
to sidewalk hollows


& even through the spiced breeze,
the clear vibrance of color,
the quiet violence of these
afternoon promenades


my heart beats
more slowly
in the grip of a cold
white breath,


a landscape of silence
suspended in the moment
before song.


in a snowsheeted meadow
a girl with skin sharp & smooth
as icesickles


dreams of feathered golden leaves
& sunlit slats of warmth
falling in floods


of beauty, of remembrance
over her ribcage
over her heart


but it is not autumn
here, and even breathless
under azure dipped skies


i feel very cold
& even my heartbeat, so close
beneath my flesh


sounds distant.
muffled by the snow,
by the unshattered stillness


. i am waiting
to break
into the warm.
downlook

Hey! Spontaneous Beauty!!

"Et dans ta chute comme au moment de la mort, ton corps de plaisir et ton corps de souffrance tournent et virent ensemble, faisant éclater de grands soleils dans ton cœur battu. C'est ainsi que meurent les colibris, cœurs fou-fous qui éclatent d'une émotion trop grande pour leur petit corps. Et les hommes qui n'ont jamais osé s'envoler n'ont plus qu'à courber la tête pour ramasser les débris d'étoiles filées." (Daniel Maximin)

For those of you who don't know French and would like to share in my joy, I will attempt a translation...

"And in your fall like the moment of death, the body of your pleasure and the body of your suffering turn and gaze together, making great suns in your battled heart shatter. It is in this way that hummingbirds die, foolish little hearts that shatter with an emotion too great for their tiny bodies. And men who never dared to fly have only to bow their heads to gather the debris of stars."

Okay, it loses something in the transition, but still... gives me chills.
unreality

surgery

i dream
that we are all beautiful
i dream that i have traced my fingertip
along the crest of your ribcage
bare & shimmering;
that the skin has parted
smooth as silk, undraped, unfolded,
to reveal your bones
a calm white procession
beneath
my gaze


you are
light & weightless.
the incision aches
behind my eyes, along my throat,
extending in a bled line down my torso


but you,
sweet & blameless,
lay with tranquil expression
& steady breaths
.
.
.


a primordial history read
between the lines of each bone,
i surrender
to your story.
your name hangs rich & poisonous on my lips


so i scream ... and i scream ... and i scream


until only the white
flutter of your bones,
your heart, drained & beat,
distilled
sound through the silence


you will awake
drenched in light.


& i will open my eyes
to the hollow
shatter
of my voice

emptied & perfect


fingering the scar of my ribcage &
licking the last syllable
red & fruity
from my lips




i dreamed
that you understood your beauty


and i, my silence.
unreality

this afternoon

... pale green wall tiles.

the watery blue line of the horizon, hazy burbles of trees, indistinct mounds of buildings

light slanting in, a pale sweet goldenyellow, on the rooftop

the unquiet churnings of a ventilation system, a slight & soothing cacaphony

... the iron divider cold on my back.



i have forgotten the overwhelming pleasure of absolute surrender to a moment, a desire, another person, a slant of light or a color or a noise. but every time i manage to unravel myself i can only see the spectres of people: lonely mad beautiful broken unseen: and cry out to god to recreate me stronger and stronger

until i am light so brilliant it could be called Love.
unreality

a sleepless night

i dream of you in this room.

at night the chandelier casts soft tendrils of shadow on the ceiling,
and when i lay in bed staring up at it, i feel as though the house is embracing me.
love occurs spontaneously: a house that immediately becomes
a home; a pair of eyes that burst like white flame
in the last chamber
of my heart ... i thrill with the dangerous serenity
of a life where passion erupts
with the lift of a venetian blind
that unveils a prismed window
casting rainbows over the hardwood floor.
i want to keep you awake all night,
lying close in shadows & sharing breath
silly stories, kisses, the smallest touches,
then pull you into a morning
of light shattering into
brilliant colors
of my heart distilled to
a single desire:

you in this room.
unreality

i will never grow up.

i sometimes feel i am
a child
wandering down the sidewalk
holding god's hand
and sometimes she will pause
lean down & whisper in my ear
"katie, look at this!"
and we'll stand there,
staring at a fall of light
or a pile of stones in the gutter
or a withering flower petal
and ponder the divine implications
of such small & perfectly imperfect things.
unreality

adorned

i wonder if i could wear
my dreams

like this trendy new t-shirt
slid off my shoulders
and butterflied...

if i could weave my cotton pajamas
to silken folds of ivory
over slender, elven limbs

if my cheap box spring could acquire
the pillared grace of an antique
four poster bed
curtained with gauze & starlit

if the visitations of dark shadows
at bedtime, their otherworld
caresses could transform

an awkward little girl into
a kept secret,

a memory from childhood like a flicker of white light


i wonder if i could wear
my dreams.
unreality

blank page

lover ,

you look so good
in black & white
on my page

oh yes ,

touch me there
a flick of the tongue
a slow, soft growl

your name like a syllable
in a language too bright for speech
stuck in my throat

no longer.
at night i follow your shadow
beneath my sheets

making love to memories
to dreams
but i like you best

my love

right here,
tumbled onto this page
a tangle of black

that began brilliant, white & unwritten.
unreality

horizon

struggling under the weight of these
unwritten books
unjogged miles
unresearched projects
unread ideas
untouched strangers
untouched friends
untouched lovers
untaken chances
unknown alleyways
unwoken dreams
i just want to outrace my heart
merge into some brilliant light woven
through summer leaves
or trickle like the blazing drops of rain
tossed from an awning
in a sudden summer storm

to live entirely inside these moments
and love the lonely wet aspect of scattered
outdoor coffee shop chairs in the grey weather
or the cascade of petalled seeds
on the edge of a familiar forest under the sun when
the grass is on the verge of speaking my name

as though they were the only reason i ever existed
as though they were every poem and every person and every aspiration
for which i never allowed myself
to strive.

i never thought i would be good enough
here, alone, with what i've been given & what i haven't been given

and perhaps i never will.

my horizon is a long grey line of silence stretched from one solitary moment to another.
my wings, if they ever existed, only a scattered flicker of shadow and sparkle...
a life of flight, of brilliant lights shaded by anguish, of tears

and i love only the things i know will never last.
unreality

honeysuckle

a slow white swirl
of fragrant
petal
fluttering
to the gutter

i love such small
creatures
for a moment
of light
caught in my throat,
my heartbeat

days later she wilts
into the sidewalk
where my steps pass
over her brown
corpse

oh, i know you love me
falling as i do
before your face
for a moment
in the spring.