We'll say unbelievable things to each other in the early morning— our blue coming up from our roots, our water rising in our extraordinary limbs. All night I dreamt of bonfires and burn piles and ghosts of men, and spirits behind those birds of flame. I cannot tell anymore when a door opens or closes, I can only hear the frame saying, Walk through. It is a short walkway— into another bedroom. Consider the handle. Consider the key. I say to a friend, how scared I am of sharks. How I thought I saw them in the creek across from my street. I once watched for them, holding a bundle of rattlesnake grass in my hand, shaking like a weak-leaf girl. She sends me an article from a recent National Geographic that says, Sharks bite fewer people each year than New Yorkers do, according to Health Department records. Then she sends me on my way. Into the City of Sharks. Through another doorway, I walk to the East River saying, Sharks are people too. Sharks are people too. Sharks are people too. I write all the things I need on the bottom of my tennis shoes. I say, Let's walk together. The sun behind me is like a fire. Tiny flames in the river's ripples. I say something to God, but he's not a living thing, so I say it to the river, I say, I want to walk through this doorway But without all those ghosts on the edge, I want them to stay here. I want them to go on without me. I want them to burn in the water.
Easy light storms in through the window, soft
edges of the world, smudged by mist, a squirrel’s
nest rigged high in the maple. I’ve got a bone
to pick with whomever is in charge. All year,
I’ve said, You know what’s funny? and then,
Nothing, nothing is funny. Which makes me laugh
in an oblivion-is-coming sort of way. A friend
writes the word lover in a note and I am strangely
excited for the word lover to come back. Come back
lover, come back to the five and dime. I could
squeal with the idea of blissful release, oh lover,
what a word, what a world, this gray waiting. In me,
a need to nestle deep into the safe-keeping of sky.
I am too used to nostalgia now, a sweet escape
of age. Centuries of pleasure before us and after
us, still right now, a softness like the worn fabric of a nightshirt
and what I do not say is, I trust the world to come back.
Return like a word, long forgotten and maligned
for all its gross tenderness, a joke told in a sun beam,
the world walking in, ready to be ravaged, open for business.