Another Shower

He washed his tired bones, lay them down, watched the clouds. If you think of him, imagine him between the sheets always waiting for him, between lifetimes getting clean.


Suspended by his smile as by a rope. Lowered into himself, his forgotten face, his old dream, his legs dangling over the streets of his heart, everything he recognizes and is puzzled by: the women calling to him like flutes of ocean and moss, the men stretched out like a sea wall, the words he thought important dancing like porpoises in summer, and truth a wave.


I am hungry; my wings taste of foreign spice; my beak is a terrible liquid, frozen into fantastic shapes — now, the sea before the continents; now, the poem as frozen memory, and always changing, with her mood, the color of her eyes, whether she tears my heart, or feathers my brain.

My eyes have no color. I paint them by the numbers of the day, and counting the days I arrive at the sum of my heart’s investment in love: do I see for miles? Or is this only the inside of my own meaty vault, my private vision, my numbered passage from colorless eyes to the back of my skull, where, from a tiny opening, numbers fly, like hearts with wings, like oceans crystallized into spinning wheels. All the secret messages of the brain go forth in steady multiples of themselves, dividing me, dividing the lives into hours, the hours into sleep, and sleep into dreams of love — an arithmetic progression toward the hour of my birth, stars wheeling into position, infinities aligned behind and before me, like flocks of birds sure in their instincts.

My eyes take on color. My heart is a small, still pool and my eyes are the color of silver fishes. The color of bright red birds come to feed. The color of green water thrashing with struggle.