StringTiny green spots on winter-dead branchesA holocaust, a death-march, a tiny string of hopeBraver souls than I have retreated, phoned it inFascinated by that string, I want to pull it, IWant to knowClose to the borderline, red drops, white snowA stench hovers over the city, mad yellow cabsRay of sunlight glints through broken windowI begin to pull the string towards me, heartbeat;The string breaksOld fallout shelters revived, black planes flyGod isn’t here today, playing cards with BuddhaI look for you in the empty Wal-Mart, still hopingThat none of the blood on the barbed-wire is yoursYou’re not thereOut in the field of old televisions, night falls hardSleeping beneath cardboard by the blue-screen lightTomorrow I will find you in an abandoned garageWe will find the string, follow it to freedom, I thinkIt will happen
PluckingPluckingThe table between us is a moon.But the air is heavy. It lieson us, muffled heat stillingour breaths. You drop your fork,but I still won't look at you. Even angelswould crawl if they were here."Why can't we be friends?"I am thinking of a Flemish tapestryI once saw in a white stone house,walls dense and prickly with roses:a line of stiff scarlet soldiers,a rearing horse. The soldiers' thick fingersgrope at the blank cream cloth,seeking purchase, gravity."What are you feeling?""I want to be a Flemish soldier,"I tell you. Only my fingerswould constantly pluck at the expanse,searching for the threadthat will unravel everything.
BirthBirthBecause he swims in her womb,the water she drinks blurs into wine.Gnats land on her skin, black pearls,they buzz like bells and she smiles.He takes her pain. When she grinds wheat,the pestle scrapes his skin raw.Before he enters the world, he memorizes its pain.But each time, the pain falls fresh,an unbitten pear. Each bite startles him.This is my flesh he thinks.He wants to wake, a cool stone tomb,the end, no more, please.
I am so brittleI am so brittle I could crackand fall in pieces at your feet.Sweep me off into the corner -all I want to do is sleep.I am so hollow I could meltinto a smaller puddle thanyou might expect to see.No need to step on me -I only want to sleep.Is there a code I have to crack,is there a solid I should melt? Give me the key and raise the heat -let me sleep!
ListeningListeningWhen the angel speaks, Mary dips a fingerinto the wine, holds it out for the angel to taste.This may be the last thingof the world .... The angel's tonguewraps around her finger, a string tied tight.Mary wants to remember the cracked cup,the wind fluttering like a trapped moth,the taste sharp as a pinprick in her mouth."Chosen," the angel calls. But Mary is listeningto the scrape of an oxen's hoovesas he drags a cart, wheels crunching leaves,the last thing .... She already knows.She sniffs her hands: eucalyptus, pungent, crushed,a bright thread tying her to this world."Innocent," the angel says. "No," Mary answers.
Stick-MenStick-men with blazing matchheads march across the table, single file, towards a glass of water. Latin incantations are said by a sole stick man by the water. It's a mass suicide. One by one they scramble up the slippery glass and jump in, their flames extinguished. This is the way of the world. Someone has placed lilacs on the table. I don't know why. This is the way of the world. I am their god, yet I only observe. It is not for me to determine their end, only to watch, and keep from getting splinters in my fingers. The lilacs smell good over the smoke. It smells like rain outside.