August 9 (This worth two)


in that crack between
the colors a gnat moves against
the wet of a squirrel’s eye
and makes green, charcoal,
and the dyes that erect
motion on the edge of a leaf,
where water drops roll,
reflecting the real curve
of planets we wonder over
and need for navigation

without circles blind squirrels
will scratch the wrong names in stones
and the gnats will swim forever
in honey streaks, against windows
filled with false suns,
dreaming of triangles and squares
and colors yet to burst
from the river scrim
and the bloody brush


how does the rat with a traveling stick
and hat connect to China or some other
place where stones are stones
people eat ivory rice and take in the air
on soft nights when it’s not raining
and the knives and guns have gone
silent, like winter frogs
or the dead themselves

by plane and boat

he’s been there too many
days and has
stepped down the stairs
of airports
between aggressive heels
in search of a cab
and a drink to relax with
in a chair
by a window where he can
wish his love back
or by the fire where he elevates
to the memory of her fingers and flowers.
snow respires
in the depthless black
and everyday brings
something new, a new face,
a new shadow,
a tap at the window,
a walk to the door, an opening
with hesitation

they ask themselves
in with messages, gifts
that smell of wind-dried laundry
and pecan hulls,
and fists full of small flowers.
they say they never thought
a rat could keep such clean digs, observe
that made their finding him
worth the rawer streets. he said
you remind me of a day
I met a friend on an empty but
threatened road. you have her
eyes and her hands. I can tell you
all about her (they said here here),
the flowers she drew at the borders
and I can help
you find cracks in the colors
where orchids sleep
and lilies follow the song
of yellow, blood, and moon

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