How do you drink?
I drink. I drink in droves.
Sip one for bleakness,
sip two for cracked skull,
sip three for bittersweetness, after-
wardness; the tongue, the wheel, the blue
glass shards, the wolfhound’s resting head,
leaning paraffin candles
late in translation.
for hunger, fifth sip for illness,
sixth sip for the black eyed junco
twilling last spring. Sip for the lazy-eyed child
whom I miss
playing with her plastic ponies
in the ghostish front yard.
Pass me from boy
to girl, from man,
to woman, from peeling house
to rainbow garden, to tree
lightning charred, split, black flaked
and bleeding. Give me to
river, then give me to rock,
then give me to the suitcase
pack me up, my thighs sideways,
my nose broken in, my wrists
ankles braided, fingers laced twigs,
knees to my ribs, put me in the Cadillac.
Drive me somewhere.
Take me to Bellevue, Washington, take me to
Lima, Peru, take me to Niagara, New York,
take me to Eros, Arkansas, take me to
San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua,
take me to the cemetery, take me
to the delivery room, take me
where a human is constricted, chewed,
splayed out and slit up;
I’ll slither from there, and crawl as I walk,
my back my front,
my foot my top.
There is a lonely place in America
that can only be found by those who have found it.
There is a healing place in America
that can only be healing to those that have been healed by it.
Sit down and eat.
I’ll eat two-by-two.
Homeless geists, colloquial-minded, sway by the stroads,
holding cardboard signs that say “THERE IS NOTHING.”
alighted with smeared, harlequin circles.
On the bus I see them
with beards and jean mini-skirts,
lumbering their to-and-fro.
Back-broken men who left town
awake in my bed, hysterectomised women
asleep in my home. There is a room in America
where only those who never sleep may sleep there.
There is a house in America that can only be entered into
by those who are already within the house.
Seventh sip for barbarism, eighth sip
for plenilune, ninth sip for insomnia,
the window, the willow, the wail
and a-hoon, tenth sip for the boreen
green woods so reclusive and old
they’ve never known a language
Besides their own.
Sit down and dream there.
I’ll dream twice.
Hand me the toadstool, hand me the spokeshaves,
hand me the pot, the switchblade, the kaftan,
the duffle bag, the feverfew, hand me the
Hand me slurs, vellum-bound bibles,
hand me hands, frisking,
hand me puns,
hand me clockhands, ticking,
hand me palms, open-mouths,
hand me a bullet
for my belly,
hand me over
seashell white toes
dotted with dirt, ten toes
ten faces, ten memos buried in covers
unwashed in nine months.
Have me some depression,
Have me some suicidal ideation,
Halve me, one half for the lions,
one half for the cubs. There
is a very small space in America
that you can only fit into
if you fit in it.