Releasing Lost Time

I sometimes lie in bassoon veil
where the cat surrenders mutely at the door.
Typically, I can be trusted tramping out
to Asbury Park with yard-long footprints
and the world sweeping behind me. It’s taken
only moments, but I’m already at the furthest
point from recognition. You asked me why
I hadn’t sketched a picture of your earlobe
last summer. I did, without instrument or paper.
Four young women wave at me from a passing
car for no other reason than it is their time
to be seen. I pull in the shorelines of
bare, distant lakes knowing that I sometimes
lie but for now, I’m standing, motionless,
even as the girls cannot fathom how they
have burned my house down into something
less than ash

The Sadness of Giants

You try to take what you cannot hold—
the map of my skin,
the bend of my knee.

You try taking my exposure, my fungal wings,
making the brighter later,
the sooner higher.

Still, you lost the clench of your hands
and now your empty motions rise to the ceiling,
as bland as nowhere in particular,
more forlorn than the sadness of giants.

Images multiply in the randomness
you rejected—

a few were revelation,
more were the endings of other stories,
most stopped before they began.

What is forgotten must never have happened.
but will be exhumed
with words you can’t decompose.

You think you’re certain
of the spot on the living room floor
where it all started

below where the black leather
hide-a-bed now rests;

but what you see belongs to another.

I’m accused of tampering with your vision
so that fish rise up to stipple the surface of white graves
in an aerie of stillness saying

I am spinning glass. Touch me— but leave my invisible
pieces for someone else to find.

Gypsum Girl

The gypsum girl is translucence.
Her powdery touch slides off
the skin, refraction of a shadow,
opaqueness in cubic dimension
arrived on the palest sunbeam,
circling the world counterclockwise.

Her feet are slippers of chalk
cast upon the dark matter
made from the world’s first
act of evil, zinc oxide covering
the charred measure
of deceitful potent stars.

Her curved spine is sacrifice,
blanched ivory and made
to express the thin blades of pearl
found upon
the ambitious soul of artifice
at the moonrise of belief.

Her jaw is milky titanium
filled with molasses and lies,
the warm, burning capillaries
of a false prophet’s tongue
exposing truths stolen
from the grip of divinity.

And her hands,
her pallid, infertile hands
we’ve all felt the tickle of
her transparent claws on our shoulder
usually in the night,
but never when we most expect it.