The perfected art:
I can overstep boundaries
and over-steep tea. I can bleed
into tin cans and I can saturate
a paint brush. I can sip your dirty
bath water with a straw. I mix everything
with uncalled-for rushes of sweetener.
Including tea. I am self - my self sufficient-
ly functioning. I am a fine
truth-teller and even better
lion; big-moaning. But if I hunt and if
In the thick char night the hawk-eye sees
a candle bath or teamug and dives -
then would I dive too?
Luke is blind and young and could
have sworn that his father was a griffin
whose feathers would blow in on the gusts
of drunken wind that came from the stiffened
Northern vines; Luke was wine country.
And little Luke loved
the scent of wine : the colors he could
have sworn it was. I once tried
to explain to Lucas the color red.
He tied a feather from nowhere, instead,
to a string around his hoofed wrist.
He let it dangle there : tickling his fingers
as he walked along the clouded walk
way with perfect posture. He was just like his father.
Your job is to flood the people’s beach with the people’s booze; to make the beer of children run into the seaweed Sound like a muddy watershed. An osprey, plucking herrings, you are to not only enforce sobriety, but to be the very personification of it. Woodland adolescents will hiccup out of the tree-line, sucking on their teeth and shuffling into the rough-hewn sand. Their sweaty, ocean palms will carry unmarked bottles. If one were to plant them in the sand, they would spring up like April crocuses. It will be your job to pluck them like a spiteful hawk. You will come to line the necks of these sauntering children with tickets and to send them white-cheeked to their parents, made younger with apology.
You will be the worst part of the beach. You will ticket the sun for bearing all, for being too hot, for being too bright. They will liken you to gulls snatching ice cream from the curling hands of little girls. You will roll along the coves in your bulging jeep.You are the crow in the grove, giant wheels assaulting the beach, burying bathers like doomed patches grass. You will use your long beak to comb for sin.
There will come a time where you will consider amnesty for the cadet with three beautiful girls beside him and a cooler full of suspicion. It will be the last sunny day in a rare Seattle summer, he will ship off in three weeks and you will do something that you were never trained to do: you will decide his fate. You will kick sand over his fire like a burrowing owl, you will coo at him for longer than he was made to listen, and finally you will reach for your pad of tickets and ball-point pen. He will not beg and you, in khaki shorts, will pocket those wings of yours, and continue your steady roll down this foam-licked beach in your daily search for thinner prey.
Concerning the noose in the center
of my bedroom: there is no such thing.
I think it is a snare - for catching
and keeping. Wrapping and gifting.
There are animals everywhere;
swimming in the air and in by bed.
Every morning underneath
the nootropic sun, I feel their squirm
and then a bun
with a gay little nose goes and hangs
herself over my button head. It’s silly
how guilty I feel when I leave, dangle,
and consume her spouse instead
alone on my bed, itself a feast, but of only feathers.
of Bowing Loon, i urge,
do not forget the bend
of your own thick legs;
they are right
for your nightly launch
into hungry arms.
but in the grit-grind
of this sand-old bird with boyish beak,
can your even wings find wind to beat?
i woke this morning
with an infant pain
whinnying and clapping
in the thinnest bone of my elder neck,
bowing same. did i found you, Bleating Lamb,
Easy Game, crying to your fist
at first, then kissed
by the hoofbeat boy
who steps on me while i sleep?
i have memorized the pattern
of his steps, quiet like a lion paw,
and bloodied too, tied
with your lingering flesh. Would you wash
you from him, fresh with tongue then tepid
water? i have tasted my own blood before;
it’s grit-grind was the same as his.
you and i are gluttons the same,
bowing at him, and pecking his mane.