I Have No Interest in Banishing Desire
I have no interest in banishing desire.
When I look at the thorn tree
urging its way into the air,
I have no idea if its longing
is anything like mine.
But I want it to be,
which is my point.
My Mother Lost A River
My mother lost a river.
My father too, but he never spoke of it.
I found a desert
because they gave it to me.
And I found the water,
which is my home, in the sense
that my home isn’t an island
but should be.
I knew a boy who drowned.
We pulled him up, swaddled him, and threw him overboard.
I knew a boy who scorched in the sun.
We found him and left him there.
I knew a boy who swung till he thought
he’d leave his orbit, but his father’s shadow stretched
behind him, before him, and assured him he would not.
He knew a green place, briefly, as a young man,
with quick hills, riotous weeds, crickets at night,
joy like a mild sunburn, the hope even then
that this good thing would seep
straight into the veins
and so touch everything he’d touch thereafter.
It’s all like being sung to sleep
as an infant and knowing nothing later
but the discipline of tenderness
that has helped you change,
the curve of the spine from sitting every day
the way you have learned to.
I could make it up; I have made
much of it up in an attempt
to give my gratitude a shape
and my longings an anchor.
Who was it who said that repetition is patience?
I have suffered so little, ultimately,
as in, held up for measure
against the ultimate. The usual: deaths
like stars, dead, casting their fragile
light on me for as much of forever
as I will be privy to;
loves that begin and end because
that’s what they’re for; feeding inevitably
on the body that eats itself, which is my body
and yours. And years
spent clicking the key into the lock
of my own door, learning how
by the feel of it, darkness approaching
politely, a little shy, like a new neighbor.
I rarely travel far. When I do,
I crouch down with a broom
and sweep it sideways under the belly of the car
to check for kittens.
It rarely rains. When it does,
I lie low, cook dense vegetable soups
as the wind bangs its hands
on the windows, and sometimes I even think
about letting it in. Somewhere
it’s raining into the river again.
Everything we say says come
back to me. Everyone wants to be held
in the arms of the elements.
Everyone wants to be eaten alive.
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