Said the Barnacle, You enchant me, with your carnival of force. Yours is a system of slow. There is you, the pulley and there is you, the weight. Your eyes wide on a hymn. Your deep song like the turn of that first, that earliest of wheels. Said the Whale, I have seen you, little encruster, in that business of fouling the ships. Known, little drum machine, you to tease out food from the drink. Little thimble of chalk and hard water. You could be a callus of whiter skin. You could be a knucklebone. You who hang on me, like a conscience.
The dead bird, color of a bruise,
and smaller than an eye
is king among omens.
Who can blame the ants for feasting?
Let him cast the first crumb.
We once tended the oracles.
Now we rely on a photograph
a hand we never saw
A man draws a chalk outline
first in his mind
then around the body
of another man.
He does this without thinking.
What can I do about the white room I left
behind? What can I do about the great stones
I walk among now? What can I do
Even a small cut can sing all day.
There are entire nights
I would take back.
Nostalgia is a thin moon,
into a sky like cold,
you were a drowned man, crown
of phosphorescent, seaweed in your hair,
water in your shoes. I woke up desperate
In another dream, I was a field
and you combed through me
searching for something
you only thought you had lost.
What have we left at the altar of sorrow?
What blessed thing will we leave tomorrow?