What do you say to a housebound suspended agoraphobe?
You hear Greek words in their diagnosis, the turquoise
hesitation of grasping fingers reaching punctured doorway
how even ordering take-out is
courage to face what cannot be faced opaque
the urgency of illness spreading her
mollified mystery beyond
we read Apocalypse books on the Berserker train
sleeping faces pressed against convex glass
the smear of skin oil, traces against trace, glutted
fingerprints even as we know not where we go
tampered before birth with the adultery of a universe.
what do we say to an extrovert cut off at the wing?
Sinning in the best possible way beneath vaporized bar table
licking salt off girls thighs and shooting glasses and powder
with a wink, shouting; How can you contain this shit?
Close them up and give them a key to be used in
a month? A year? Never? After cataracts?
They burn with attention and fade without
fuel, here, there, is silence and they don’t know
how to be left alone.
What do you say to lovers who live apart?
She stays by her window watching smoldering emptiness
barren streets where once you would walk
up to her and tap on her cleaving shoulder
things were light and free, taken for granted
becoming closed and jarred, boxed in tinted cupboards
within houses shut down like sad faces, eating stale
cake, we try to lift our stinging, souring spirits
sometimes it feels better to binge watch
End Of The World movies and
eat all the bad things in the house, one by one
vacillating between giving a damn and not at all.
The feral cat outside hides her kittens, as if she knows
volatile is the word du jour
the birds sing less as if they can sense
death withers wild against the Oleander
feeling, our collective shutting down, end of
card game, square-jawed gambler has lost his
horse and boots.
Wasps build mud nests, otters chew through
phone lines, apple blossom stands in for
confetti at a wedding of creatures,
clinking wooden cups, the world breathes a collective sigh
animals take over, humans are
yesterday’s big thing, now forgotten
streets sprout trees, lemons fat and sour sweet
concrete, tarmac breaking open
hungry for repair, the long toiled earth
builds trellis’s and green space
from grey whispering ghosts of past
whilst we sleep and dream of
dancing in indigo pointed shoes on patent floors
to dead musicians in violet dresses
held wantonly by the nape of our neck
creatures quietly retake the planet
our savagery emptying like
the very mantle of earth has
shrugged it off, let it splinter, break
wide apart, asking for sexual healing
asking for change, burning the waxen lotus
stigma of our mistakes, time is up. Oh Goddess
have we come upon the end?
What do you say to a child?
Who has yet to know light or dark and asks;
why do we stay indoors, what is the purpose?
We can kneel down and remember, when we
cared, if sparrows fell from their nests and
scooping them up, would run to school nurse
who smelt of magnolias and iodine, our chant
“please make them well, don’t let them die!”
Remember the good magic? Bring it back,
when kids are released they will
not wish to run rough over green fields
tear down trees to make way for
metal and slag, in ten years standing there
smoking inhaling cancer beneath the whistled song
theirs will be a new time
if we learn, we can repair
what do you say to yourself?
When it’s over and it’s just begun?
When we make with every step
a claim on this
For Earth Day 2020.