What I won’t tell you is how I became a flute
and brushed against lips but there was no music.
When the blows came furious as juniper.
There were days when I was a parachute
and the wind was free but kind. I won’t lie
and say there were no such days. There were days
when I curled into hailstone and pretended
it was only breezing outside. Another man’s music.
Eventually the need to unfurl overcame the need
to stay anchored. Tsunami greeted me in its maw.
I have his smell all about me but it dwindles every day.
What I won’t tell you is how I escaped. One day
I met a map at a bar. It pointed to a gash on its head
and said I could get there by becoming someone else.
Most of me was still scrawled on a carpet under a belt.
What was there to lose that I hadn’t already lost?
Alone, in the middle of the night, the road smelled
like freshly sawed mesquite. I wormed my way out.
A buckle still loomed in the background.
And I told myself, there is no gleam.
Lately I have been a gap.
Moth clouds follow me to bed.
I counted them: twenty, fifty, block, choke.
In the room where I used to sleep
a breath hangs low on the bed
and hoarsens the room.
No one knows where the air is
charged and released into the world,
but it thistles.
This is how breathing fills a house
with family: breathing to draw
the buzzing to its source
and breathing to lacquer a plugged maze.
How a house fully beamed and walled
is not a house, but a husk.
How a life in the span of a few breaths
becomes a clockless thing.