Blood Moon

"I have no land."
To at last contain me between the mountain
and the green sea.
There were no rocks so hardened or ground swell, only
Maps, useless maps;
What my feet touch they do not keep.

Two months to find that August breaks,
and will not hold
(is not a promise to be held)
Because of news of swinging trees.

Because of news of savageries,
the cutting, the dead, the rope.
There in the desert, there.

Here, far from sunless shores
My insides quake with the rotting fear
when news comes.
Oh, but when it comes—

Call me water still
May it contain me,
Let it take me in the surge
and under swells, erase me;

I have no land.


The something more teases at the knees while you go biting into chocolate with hints of juniper and chilli
and your eyes grow darker with every bite
First the lake had been revelation
Then the hills
they had been telling
the climb had been telling
You choose to forget and bite into chocolate with hints of brine and caramel notes
Amnesiac with curling lips both sweet and bitter
The something more tickling the backs of knees now makes for a thief’s exit;
A river
a walk at the blinking of night
a hastening from under new sheets
for distance from a warm tongue melting chocolate
Amnesiac with her back turned losing the day in sleeps again
It is a teasing and a tangle too fraught with danger to mouth remember
So the river
so the bend
and fingers pinching knees not to kick at seams or unravel
To jealous guard the something more until blue eyes wake up unafraid of lakes

You were too high

On the day that you moved entirely and too easily away
cloud cover was low ahead and shadows
flitted over sparse earth making green deep
like forests deep and the clouds
were low wisps (one cloud particularly)
floating dancelike vapors
moved by the urging of sun
(some call it wind)

You had a body once that could be touched with even calloused hands and rough
no need for feathers
enough for the rough and grab to claim hills in rolling hips

You had a certain grace about you
and even now through squinting eyes
your moves devastate gently in degrees
when that last bottle catches your reflection

There is a cloud suspended too low to be believed
but just high enough
as certain things just out of reach
and running further or faster won’t help elevate or break the curse of law
even though we never see it
see you bite into fruit to make it real

"we are dead stars"

dead stars for scientists fraying threads
watch the universe & tell this story;
iron was the first violence
iron in the blood

eating rapture, we
know better
know water before metal
when this eye looked towards Cygnus and Lyra
when we floated down the gulf
some boat in the night
radiating heat;
warming the night with swallowed fire
on the deck of a lonely dhow
we were stars
bronze gold bronze;
arms and legs in constellation
you liked the small of my back
under the sun at midday
i. sun sun sun, so many suns
ii. gold in the blood
iii. snakes in the water
green green waters turning
warm like copper

night sky, you were happy and heaven’s dome was deep purple
we were happy sailing under stars
or were we them?

every star chart keeps us hidden
there was a mirror then
there is a boat in the sea
boat becomes mirror
becomes sun sun sun
and the night sky
and fire in the blood
and stars
stars above and in the waters
stars mirror stars;
iron contains us

but for the violence of the night sky
i had not seen your eyes
or held their gaze in August



Having been home to an eagle and sparrow
i swallowed feathers i swallowed feathers
Wrapped up tightly round this little finger
you are the coil and the slither and hissing
break break break
Who can escape?
Who can make up for the parts that are missing?
Talons and beaks and scales and feathers
Nails and teeth and claws and feathers
Teeth and talons and beaks and hissing
and serpents in gardens and girls that are missing
and feathers and feathers and feathers and feathers
break break break


The mouth falters
a hesitation of lips
a subsiding
a lazy tongue

Truth at the tips
Truth in the margins

Mountain ridge to traverse
Mountains to cross
Lightning must strike

A storm needed
a thickening storm
Stir it like thick soup
Stir it like stew

Here are the arms
Here are the legs
Floppy middle
Lazy in the belly

Lighting to carry


Speech in feathers like swallowed cotton sprigs tear
and smother
an open mouth found inviting
No story warning haunting,
No axeman in the fable
That is a crow there in the distance,
there is a clever corvid watching
But no one speaks amazement
No one-

It is no kindness to round out downy vowels in hopes of trapping air;
But I swallow feathers like a starling’s last hope for home
makes a nest there at the back of my throat.
You were a robin then-
You were searching


someone knows the crook of your elbow well by now, must be
some heart advances, while one retreats
someone knows the trail of your shoulder and the slip of your back,
some code to crack;
your heart is worth it

in the quiet and staccatos of drilling,
in the rattle shake whistle of trains
you build, you travel to build
if in the space you catch the other
if in the eyes your gaze meets,
there is a well there filled with pennies;
someone is lucky

Manchester in blue (and a bird’s nest)

Manchester in blue (and a bird’s nest)

Cave Dwellers

There’s a coward that lives inside of me and he’s an old old man by now.
Sometimes I yell at him,
“Methuselah come out!”
But most days I hide behind his bearded face and own his shying ways;
This hermit man likes the caverns of my heart
wanders deeper into stone and says
He’s found a mountain he’ll call home,
so why should he leave?
There is a mountain in Lebanon he says,
There is a stonefaced wall,
there is a valley,
There is a place where the holy men live;
In their hideaways of stone like osteoporotic cancellous bone,
and I am a holy man,
He says
and I don’t ask too many questions
(He is a coward after all)
What more is there to know?
I abide it, this old man living inside
And I know why, I know full why

There’s a liar that lives inside of me,
Except she’s a child maybe seven sometimes eight, almost as old as me
I never shout for her to leave,
She keeps the old man company and
He won’t hide from her
Those two get on just fine,
She says the caverns are palatial
and how bright, look how bright
She’s made her home there too
by now

And I am wandering chained to those two
When I peer inside my heart,
There we are, us three
Unholy trinity
And most days like today I say,
Well then I’ll leave, you stay
You stay