or unconscious on the sidewalk while
a kneeling fireman checks his—what?
Breath, or pulse. His mechanisms.
He has some moving parts. Lungs expand
heart pumps and what is more mechanical
than a pump? Still there are questions
about brain function. These are vital signs--
maybe in the back
of the ambulance is one of those contraptions--
metal disks with wires yellow green
stick them on your head it makes a ticker tape
of how your brain arcs little sparks
between cells of the tissue packed in your skull.
That’s how you make a fist or blow a kiss. Signals
travel on pathways trafficking your impulses
branching to your extremities. Someone told us that
but it's pure horseshit. You have no idea
how you make a fist or blow a kiss
it's second nature,
it's just obvious.
Even the foremost neurologist can’t tell us how
without resorting to a shrug.
on horses stampede
with drawn swords
torches and malice
from the hills above the village.
In a blinding moment
they are on us, a ferocious storm
of bloodlust and wild eyes.
Our home is aflame
our children fall beneath hooves
from distant towns with strange names,
foreign kings we never--
Today the world ends.
I chop off the head of the snake.
Its reptile eyes refuse to darken
its jaws stretch open, gaping
in defiance, the long muscle of body
stretches to rejoin the head
urging toward resurrection.
The world ends
where my father vanished
where my mother baptized me
where I carry the head
of the snake in one fist
and the body in the other.
I wave the world from existence
with a gesture, a prying open,
a stretching of something spinal,
a willing for what is emergent.
One is bright as the sun
with a voice like music
tossing picked flowers
into the wind runs
laughing to the water’s edge
and jumps in with
he darkens over
shadowed by the same
old terror that seizes
every perfect innocent
who discovers this
is a world of arbitrary death
and no one can change that
or stop it
The other one of me
is his father
who cradles his head
strokes his hair
who has been defeated
laid down his life
so there is nothing
more to do in the end
quietly and love
When I step in dogdoo barefoot I get a boner.
I think this is true for a lot of people—more
than you think, more than will admit it
because of taboos and social mores
surrounding a physiology like mine.
It’s not like I’m into peeing on people
or watching people pee on each other
although someone may prefer that
to feeling warm dogdoo squish
between their toes.
I brought up this subject during bible study
hoping for a reception of good
christian tolerance and unconditional love
at church last week after reading in Genesis
about Lot’s two daughters who got their father
drunk and they both had incest
with him after he passed out
because he had no heir and they had no spawn
which seemed reason enough at the time.
That’s in the bible and it’s way worse I think
than a dogdoo boner as far as morality goes
and I said so.
But the bretheren were upset
with me, asked me to leave then
continued to ponder the scriptures.
In the churchyard over by the roses
the pastor’s wife was walking their
poodle and guess what?
it does not hover frozen in future time
it does not give chase.
I do not feel it in my gut
like my father does
walking the dog early in the morning
hours borrowed with a collateral
of bypass surgery and low sodium.
Death is the seabed accruing.
We drift down, particulate,
a gradual disintegration
of layers like the crumbling
of sandstone cliffs in a million
tiny landslides, each dropping a handful
of pebbles from the walls.