Take the man you think you love and his
fabulous lips. Take him from one place
to the next. Let him drive your car. Let him
drive it through the mood-crazed woods
until it overheats. Let the nights feed
from your eyes as you look at him. Do
not turn on the heat. Do not spill
the flavored oils of the heart. Do not
eat from the palm of your hand
a fluid ounce of what you may need.
Do something illegal. You only have to be
there when they bring the contraband in.
You only have to leave yourself behind.
The stars know. The police will prowl
your neighborhood until the plate number
matches and the car checks out.
When they bring you in, you
must remove your shoes and belt.
You must pretend there was no felony.
Then you must confess. Add your past,
a pinch of the rage you feel, and how
you sit until your father bursts in
and asks whether you have been arrested.
Add a mother who tells you she is
ashamed. An expensive lawyer. The way
you remember the taste of his kiss and
how real he was and how he would
drive dark roads at high speeds through
the back woods with the headlights off.
Remember what the stars see. And how
once it is over the lawyer will send
a letter saying he said you knew nothing,
saying he tried to keep you out of it,
though the police said he had given
you up as they made you say his name.
It’s easier to computer than to crash. It’s easier
to computer than to hold a hand or knit
a winter together from headlights on the highway.
It’s easier to computer and be a hybrid and
cross from bowels and eardrums into hours
lit and roaring by like freight. The chapters
there can tell you an octopus has three hearts,
that snails breathe through their feet. It is easier
to have no arms or breath, to position through
colors and jumps shoreless as steam. No
surfaces. No verbs to be. No mussels
or bellows or congestion or caffeine.
No lens to focus, no Rome to burn. Who can
do when the roots are so untidy and
the branches rack like antlers against other
branches. It’s easier to computer than
to guess at a savior. Than to whisper slips
of information to the flesh. Let language construct
mere dewdrops of light. Let the circuitry
gauge the need and make it clean and make it
so heady it is erected, a remedy, in its ease.
There is no destination. No grave in place of a person
loved in the past, no identity classified, factual, no glass
to break open in the fisted hand, no cracked windshield,
no hurricane. Or there is, but it is closed inside its box
smaller than the box for roses, dead and moldered
by the time they reach the door, delivered only once.