Tonight all the leaves are paper spoons in a broth of wind. Last week they made a darker sky below the sky. The houses have swallowed their colors, and each car moves in the blind sack of its sound like the slipping of water. Flowing means falling very slowly— the river passing under the tracks, the tracks then buried beneath the road. When a knocking came in the night, I rose violently toward my reflection hovering beneath this world. And then the fluorescent kitchen in the window like a page I was reading—a face coming into focus behind it: my neighbor locked out of his own party, looking for a phone. I gave him a beer and the lit pad of numbers through which he disappeared; I found I was alone with the voices that bloomed as he opened the door. It's time to slip my body beneath the covers, let it fall down the increments of shale, let the wind consume every spoon. My voice unhinging itself from light, my voice landing in its cradle—. How terrifying a payphone is hanging at the end of its cord. Which is not to be confused with sleep— sleep gives the body back its mouth.
When I touch your skin and goosebumps lift,
it’s your mind that surfaces there.
When your iris tightens mechanically
around your pupil, that aperture
becomes for me the blacked-out
cockpit of your mind.
It’s your mind
that touches your tongue to mine,
your mind that, when you’re driving,
lowers your hand to my thigh
like a pilot light inside your sleep,
your mind that beats your heart—
slower, then faster—infusion pump
in the chest, flooding your mind.
But your heart is not your mind.
The curve of your hip; the soft
skin of your wrist is not your mind.
The tumor growing in your brain
is just your brain, I say.
of your face; the sound of your voice,
which I love so much, is not your mind.
Your mind spills through—fire
I can’t stop watching from the far
side of this darkening valley.