On How to Use this Book

You deserve your beautiful life.

Its expectant icicles, the dread forest
that is not our forest.
And yet, we meet there.
The streams streaming through us.
The leaves leaving through us.

Once I was black-haired
and I sat in my country’s lap.

I was so sure she was asking me
what I wanted.

Invite at least 15 people. It’s okay if your apartment is small. Put 7 lb of cut up chicken in the biggest pot you own with 2 parts soy sauce 2 parts vinegar and 1 part water. Make sure to completely cover the chicken. Throw in a handful of black peppercorns, lots of bay leaves, and two fistfuls of garlic cloves. Bring to a rolling boil and simmer until chicken is almost falling off the bone (around 45 minutes to 1 hour.) Place chicken on a baking sheet and broil for 10 minutes until the skin is crispy and slightly charred. Boil remaining liquid for 15–20 minutes to reduce and add 1 can coconut milk to make a sauce. Plate chicken and pour sauce over. Serve with so much white rice.

Holiday

I want to lick someone 

with an antelope for a head.

A whole-person-boxer for a fist.

Circulatory, fruited over 

nostalgia to overcome me like

a truck I'll drive over his body 

while he reaches for a 

telephonic breast.  The way gods 

do when they create 

the first animal cracker

steams of existence.

Fat plant and vernix.

The shattered cursive equations

my love was capable of.

I said there will never be a night like this

How is it I was right?

How fibrous and incidental it seems.

The tiny leather jackets we wore.

What was it about that quality that I admired?

Loping around like a christening pole-cat.

Grace

You will transcend your ancestor’s suffering

You will pick a blue ball. You will throw it to yourself. 

You will be on the other side to receive. 

Green leaves grow around your face. 

Hair stands on your body. 

You look at old photographs 

that say:

The bread is warm!

A child is a blessing!

That’s what I said!

I meant it!

You could say this is a poem.

Like the great halves of the roof 

that caved and carved together.

Found us before words

and tender-footing.

Before wrongdoing

and the octaves of blue

above us all.

Protection

We were refugees against the usual things. I scattered baby teeth around the perimeter. Things like bruschetta confused me. I picked up rastering body parts and I blew them out like bubbles, like store signs. I existed in the ear canals of the stacked cities. Many bells sounding at the same time opened up to Americans standing on scales. Holding their skin in calipers. I loved Jesus so much. I rubbed and rubbed until my bracelets fell off of me.