Pink Animal Light
Category: <span>Poetry</span>

In the Key of S

With a squawk I was sucked from nothing,
caught and chucked into the world’s swing;
now I’m one part wish not to hurt,
three parts need to assert I exist,
like a cat splayed against each fresh day;
forgive my fur if it hisses,
forgive my breath if it whistles;
in the street I see teeth shredding flesh
and meaty tongues bedding bones;
I see the backwards light;
I see birds alone in blocks of ice;
I read the future in the orb of a spider
and cry myself a whole new eye, dear,
till I’m hard as snow and solid as time,
till the sun rises through my spine,
till paradise is sighted
through the scope of a rifle,
and the sparrows in my hedgerow
retweet all the times I said no
to what I really should have allowed:
this street can be a smile to the gallows,
my body a-quiver with pleasure’s arrows,
my blood a warm red bed I’m so snug in,
but my heart-bull snorts through its aorta
and charges thee,
I bite into my breast
like cooked turkey,
and my salt seasons me,
keeps me hot and spicy;
I open these vowel slits
for you to see,
I seize my leash
between my teeth
and growl in glee.

See my path by the stars I block;
defined by all the poets I’m not,
I build strophe boats and sail songs
in the key of sea times infinity,
dropping suns like breadcrumbs,
hunting dream rivers for real fish
or at least a fishy rebus,
squeezing the world into a word,
juggling a syllable to swirl the thrill,
my periods planets from the depths of me,
my incendiary womb white around we;
I used to crave to change your channel,
now I want to swim it;
I wished to dig holes,
now I intend to fill ‘em:
recover my map marked X
in order to discover Y
I’m no mountain to climb
and do not tie knots except
to prove the justness of the cut.
I don’t slam poems,
I ease them open;
I ram my face into a page
and leave this print;
I know why the caged bird thinks;
I scratched off the sun,
and it bled ink.

Once I had 4D memories,
not these printouts pinned to a bulletin board,
nor this spreadsheet of the blooming world;
I remember remembering,
and I remember forgetting,
but I can’t recall how to see;
left alone with eternity,
I poke it and choke it and joke uneasily;
the sun rolls down the cheek of the sky,
and an eyelid descends over the horizon,
but I can’t help the tears I’m not crying:
my static cataracts reveal the contract
I have made with the grave;
I gave my life to speak to you
but don’t even know what to say.
So please forgive the quiver in this hand
and the days I misplaced
in this maddening and haunted land:
barefoot prophet I am not,
I’m a smile beneath a hat
on a coatrack,
and if only I were a head taller inside,
I could climb this ledge
over the hidden edge
into the unwritten kingdoms
where the humdrum sings.