Audio: Read by the author.
My first night without you
my wings fold back in on themselves—
all those birds inside or
released by your hands—now I trace
my fingers along my collarbone
trying to find where they live. I keep
touching my scar—it feels like swallowing
night, like flyers for a lost boy—
what if it’s true our bodies are not our own,
but only become manifest (like this
poem) when activated by another’s touch
what if the thing activated is outlined—
roughly—by the word body . . . This
morning my daughter stood before me
naked said her body was not
her own—she’s been sick for two days—
smiling, she seemed to
like it, the feeling, that
floating above . . . I worry it’s a set-up, a
manifestation of the addict I’ve
passed on through the blood, my talent
for slipping into the bigger thing
a craving for it . . . O
to live without thoughts—no rats in our
shoulders, only birds,
the willingness to let someone
inside. What if
these things we call our bodies are not
singular or contained, what if
they finally become irrelevant . . .
after so much time trying to be grounded,
to land on this earth, so strange
to imagine we might simply pass by ourselves
for a moment, en route to somewhere else . . .
What’s on the other side? A nap?
A parade? It works—matchbox
sparks, lightning bugs, I’m completely inside
that boy who feels like he’s inside me.
I want to know everything about the parade.