Some Days in the City
the clock-hands come loose, and language is a skiff
over land through the rhythm of your breathing, girl
then I can hear the pink oriole, the body is a metronome
of blood and syllables beating placentas of speech
and news tingles like a caress of words still to be spoken:
umbrellas, bracelets, sleepers in doorways, police and victim--
I wind these objects to strike my human self dead
like a piece of economy flung about the streets
of sympathetic bodies once close to my own hand
and I will go to my hammock, thinking of little
except the numbness that alone makes bearable
the wind's twisting. I want atoms to separate
like hairs or dust onto the heads of my daughters.
I want to violate the edict that traps my hunger
in cages and away from her rough shoulder
and once to be enough for this and all the loves
that flicker through my bedroom before sleep.
They keep me awake, and tonight they are fierce
as whips or as needles to make the skin crawl.
I want to drift like the poui in a southerly wind
and settle where I need to before the faces erode,
my appetite of iron caulking the egg-shell heart.