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Sweep, Sweep, Sweep



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Sweep, Sweep, Sweep


 

It's late afternoon. Whoever belongs here is gone. – Michael Chitwood

 

The last star of last night has been sold for a song,

and Mary, sister this time, sweeps ashes

of the dark side of a step; she sings

of twelve days, of three months, of last year,

and this time, when she smiles, she swears lilacs,

lilacs the length of an ocean, the length of a sail

blown out, it's ship capsizing, falling into air,

every lovesick sailor thrown to squall, every squall

thrown to sea, closing up, it's harbor master,

it's wayward apprentice, it's doctor of water,

gone priest.

 

Throw a little salt, a little kelp, a little beer.

Tell them that everyone goes home.

Tell them to pray, to whisper, to weep – to weep

like the first time, like the time before this feeling crept

up and took them like that squall, and threw

brother on brother onto what seemed like rock,

hydrogen and oxygen strong enough to break bone,

1st and 5th brother riddled with breaks,

and who knew their names then, a scrawl

in a cabin log, a log soaked in sea, ink broken

to its elements – humans compound and bloat,

and slip into the deep (blue, green, black, and gray),

night like a fan, blowing one tile of dark after the next,

 

over cloud, a cloud sold for daylight, another daylight

sold for a song. Sweep. Sweep. Sweep. Tell them

this time, when they call, to bring bread, bread enough

for a miracle, bread enough for a host of prayers.

 

 

 

 

Coal Black Night


 

I.

 

Another star is born and lost

Someone's song is left in the crapper

sings and sings out a window

Gisella is still punch drunk

Manolo is still glazed over like a sailor

and Roberto gives himself up once again

to the rhythm of a crack in the street

Watch him fall like a leaf

without charcoal

and no sketch

 

II.

 

What lands are not fingers and toes

but memory — an old song on the street

an old tire on the road

won't move

no life, x's and numbers

They who once were here are none

and the only secret to tell is of madness

and the only madness left is gone

 

 

 

 

 

Everything is Not Equal


 

If I look over, it's because I'm looking out the window.—Rachel Eliza

 

slip rain through a banana field.

 

test the weight in your hand and drop.

 

trust the light green tinge.

 

take a dram or two after the heat breaks.

 

circle the ground      circle.

 

plunge a spade in the soil and turn the soil loose.

 

Leave the ox. Leave it.

 

 

 

 

 

After the Accident


 

The same afternoon Sophie gave birth,

Joey had his tonsils removed.

 

She said it hurt like hell.

He said it hurt like hell.

 

Looking

at birth,

what birthed,

 

Sophie said it's something

you never forget

(seven pounds of flesh

finding form).

 

Joey, also looking,

said it's something

you never forget

(tonsils in a jar).

 

They both had ice cream after,

butter pecan,

said "It's cold,"

lying in bed.