The Feed

The word in her mouth is a cluster of sharp consonants
she whispers m k and t, compresses her heart in a.

Brown of her iris folds the prism of evening light that splinters
as the birds in her garden escape the slant of the song. She has learned

to pare down the heartbeat of the city to a monochrome of white light
where she sits turning the rosary bead. Her mouth moves in prayer,

her tongue runs along the soft palate, the molars extracted after years
of the root canal: it is a soft mound like the grave at the edge of the village

she saw him dig. Her breasts produced the extra ounce of milk
at every childbirth to be squeezed into the mouth filled with soil.



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The Conservation Of Matter

To be a good person is to carry the luggage all time
watch the shoulder sag under the bags just when you have cleared
the window to see the dew fall off a leaf, the sun curl in the space
between toes.

Because you cannot crawl down the cave streaked with the feral matter
the tale of cosmology gathers in the line under the eyes,
cups the breeze stirred by the flight of bats. The traces that exist
are the arms of delusion.

A line of ants ambles over the rump of clay in a journey
where there is no place to arrive. You want to open
the door, slot the key into the hole of possession. How easy
to give that away by lying face down

feet waving in the air, grasping torques of amber light.
The soft pouches of tissues like bags of coins slump along the path
with missteps too late to correct, the metaphor in the throat
falls through with black ash.

Matter shifts in shape, moves along the thin line of time
in a hospital ward folded in the crispness of departure. The awning is drawn
taut to gather particles of sun from the face as the smell of paper
is wasted on the foliage of trees.

The Full Moon: A Love Poem

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You favor one side when you sleep
lean into the silence of the whitewashed wall
crumples of paint dust a veil of blanket.

I carry quietness in the hollow of my chest
slip into the folds of night, the sleeve of silver
under the bridge of your even breathing

worrying about the trespass of your space
but the light of the full moon emboldens me
to take the moistness of your palms in mine.

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A Letter

I write to you sitting in the core of a large tree
ringed with silence.
I have fit into a plinth small to hold the kernel
of your breath.
Sometimes I think your voice has an aquatic form
over my moist skin.
Light from the street pools in your palm curled in
the hollow of my neck.
The leaves fall on the sand coppered by light along
lines of hunger.
Urge grows to hold the red distilled from plumeria
against your throat.
My desire stretches to fill the space between
two grass stalks.

Remembering Mother

It takes two hands to clap
silence languishes in a vacuum.
She presses her elbows on the table
gets up to leave, a spring flows calmly
across her face as fury wrecks me red.

The seasons unfurl in her chest
monsoon curls the edges of her hair
that flutter in lazy scrolls
the skin on her waist a gentle turmeric
in the moistness of summer.

I knock around the cave of her silence
fly above the landscape of her stillness
scan the contours of her body dip and rise
as I hold breath at the nine gateways
in an attempt to douse the fire.

She is the water drop on a lotus leaf
no grease marks on the stove
clothes folded away, dishes rinsed
on the sink. Being born afresh
is like dying in the right sense.

 

Interbeing

PLUMERIA
All lives are connected
trees and plants are one organism

that nurture each other
the weak soldiered by the strong.

There is a warrior in my garden
the Plumeria tree that grows in a large tub

she has not a single leaf and will never
waste energy on producing one all summer.

She breathes deep and holds life
for pink protuberances to burst into blossoms.

In the tub there is a hum of roots, a stray
tomato seed waves pale and spindly shoot

a robust butterfly pea creeper threads
a nosy tendril into the air for support from

the naked branches. Blanched
leaves of honeysuckle vine trail

over the tree as they gulp mouthfuls
of sunlight for chlorophyll.