||In the Distances of Sleep
Erasing is the daily work of dusk
and this pliant sky is ours to fill up
as we desire, the way wind would a sail.
Those animals outlined in the stars are
certainly not waiting around for us
to tame them, so keep your eyes plugged in tight
or you might miss something that will astound
no one. Had we stayed in our beds, Pisces
would go on swimming through the wet heavens.
How have we come to the water again?
Even if I knew I couldn't tell
you. It's later than it's ever been
watch the silent bay invert the stars.
What have you done with the moon, you ask.
In here?your hand inside my pocket.
A breeze shifts and tiny waves respond
like a jittery flock of wet birds.
Inside the sky, all folded up now,
my minky starshine, my cloven fin.
Pull me through your beltloops; we'll wade in
further. I want to stroke the boats
from beneath, to read the Braille of
barnacles. These ribbons of kelp
could measure my distance from you,
were you not always the first to
emerge. The fish have lost their eyes
darker creatures will ignore us.
Please hoist me up, I'm sightless too.
Distortion is a lucent thing
makes as good a sky as any.
Your voice comes out of my mouth
over the back of the beach,
under the bones of the bridge.
This aimlessness suits us well.
We've crossed some narrative line,
now will we ever get home?
Tenements turn in their sleep;
streetlights arrange themselves and
sigh, "We've missed you, we've missed you,
the lovely scent of human."
The street is extending
its gray limbs in the dark.
Without a pause, you step
toward numberless strings on
as many instruments
and a lullaby sung
through a mouth full of bees.
Flowers spike the concrete,
blur your difficult dreams.
And no one walks through you.
Even in this place
where logic is skewed,
kisses plead guilty
before they're accused.
Oh, that you would come
near, fill up this blue
is it cowardice,
the tendency to
tack on a hackneyed
My brittle hope
is that you will
remain when this
and the stars tow
away the black
freight of the night.
At their bidding,
we wax into
For whom are
Do they wait
in our beds?
Do they want
to curl up
When It Was Always Dark
Even porch lights that made gold of the grass
and those birds that stitched across the moon
not birds, something else.
No, do not think angels.
Fireflies, hands over flashlightswho wants them now?
And what could shine its way again,
so easily, through
Fog assembling in a cool, low place;
birches nodding against
though there was no breeze.
However long we waited, it was not
only to fill hours with
All we took with us on our way,
all we have wept
at being unable to
Something pressed into a hand,
no beloved thing, but
small, and hard as luck is to arrange.
Full with lovewhat else could fit in its place?
Someone once said dark.
And nothing. That too.
A hand on the curtainwhoseand who
There is no one to tell
of our dark animalsof how we made
from the sky whatever light allows.
for Jeff Buckley
Before he went under did he notice how the sky grew
thick with electric birds or taste the rust of lungs
We wait in dry deltas for our drunken beautiful dead
to rise in a chemical kiss and suck wine from our bones
We've left our doors unlocked in case his longing exceeds us
To have shifted abandon into something tenable
nourishment to endure the undertows of cognition
Flower in his teeth love sung to one's own death and
he moved through filtering the deposed light the