Nose to Earth
Beneath the night, our murmurings,
touching, searching in the softness and warmth
of skins at moonfall,
we are quiet, foreheads together,
we sleep, we dream.
You push me away, turn on the bedside light, read.
You do not want to read me, my things, hear my life,
know me, know my body only.
What are you reading, nothing I
just can't sleep, oh, I thought it was me, something.
I dream that I wake to find my heart has stilled and I am the
heart of a mockingbird pecking on the windowpane of you,
snippets of nightsong, gurgling from a sense of featheredness,
fragility, of coming light? any requests? a requiem?
And then I hear it, the crunching, grinding of your
teeth, disturbing my dark float
like a poker in the fire of me
a spurt of flames and crackling sparks on my startled
way back up into the bed next to you, a
giant sharpening his teeth
you will not wake to hold me
and I know you would say
leave, if I frighten you so much.
The black wave flows over me again, warm black
oil the fear this night, I run with the cat heart
stalking, you fall and my teeth crunch bone of
neck, blood spurting in my face, the black wave salty
washing us, pulling you dead into the sea with it,
to the depths of itself
I lick my cat paws of your blood
waiting for the images to flicker
before cat eyes at dream windows
the water, the mirror, the surface of the
A darker wave of black, thick,
beneath the night the sky is dripping stars
I brush against leaves of jungle growth
nude, dew, moist and cool
healing skin and bones, I curl to sleep
I dig my fingers deep into dark earth, rich,
the small ones living there
worming and scurrying away from the strange
new touch, I roll over and over and down
to a clearing, an oasis, a basin of dark
clear water and wait
camouflaged by the black earth
on my skin, wild dark eyes
hypnotized by the rhythm of the night-
living creatures, croaking and chirping and
screeching, all eyes blazing in the night,
nose to earth, waiting.
A scream wells up from the darkness of the bed
anger erupting molten rock from beneath the
surface of my sleep, stifled, sickening, I tremble and
wake. I shiver close to where you warmed beside
me; you are there a half second before I wake, no
longer. The bed is ice.
I wander down for the
freshness of the sun
the mockingbirdsong of
morning is nonsense, gibberish;
the cat on the windowsill, sleeping.
inside me there is always
that place, stiff,
numb, paralyzed ...
He gave me that scar.
beneath the scar
there is a dry
ripping, burning, wrenching
The screams of pure anger and hatred
have not surfaced, or passed.
I am left behind with that
They try to catch the tips of her buttery-soft wings with their fingers
she is quick in her mystery, in her fear
with a net he comes saturdays and he sees her world
this is the only field left in all of america
with his net to catch her, to watch her die in an empty pickle
jar without holes, empty except for her and a cotton ball soaked in alcohol
because he is an amateur
old white house with a screened-in front porch and a rose garden used to
used to be here, he used to see it, condemned, on his way in to work
fighting for home, between radio commercials wondering who grew
roses still bloom and die, defiant, in the overgrown grasses choke
yellow roses, once he gave a woman roses, yellow roses
she said yellow ones meant friendship and kissed him on the cheek
buried her face in the petals to look pretty
she drinks nectar, golden pollen on her black legs, a feast, only a few
hesitant buds not yet unfolding in the sun
he doesn't think twice, net, jar
up close (a fantasy)
earth of your eyes
calm mind a river
heart a boat, your
breath warm wind
so soft the valley
of your back, I float.