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I also befriended tiny ponies and a rooster. All before 9 AM.
(Note the cute baby/toddler-ish chickens in the background.)
(Also note that both of the tiny ponies would not equal one of my dogs. They’re tiny. And absurdly cute.)


dense fog cut by headlights, windows down
a middle-of-night-middle-of-nowhere drive:


do you know where we are? all these houses
look the same / cracker box houses that’s what
Elaine calls them / this is a strange place /
I know / for a subdivision / I guess /
is there a difference? /
subtle ones always subtle /
the cracker box houses are gone /
I noticed / it feels like we’re in a sea
now and that it was parted / by who? /
not Moses / this isn’t an escape to some
holy land out of suppression an army is
not going to drown behind us / you’re so
literal  [pause to push windblown hair from face]
I think it looks like milk / what? / the fog it
looks like milk 
/ if the fog looks like anything
it is a deflated cloud not milk definitely not milk


do you know where we are? / not really /
why did we do this? / it’s the middle of the
night we were trapped / you said this wasn’t
an escape 
/ I was wrong then and this is what
I am saying now / what if we never go back 
what if the fog is milk and we are spilling
out of the carton with it? / they would put
our faces on the milk cartons the ones we
didn’t spill out of

through all her shifts of structure
(while her bones turned from
carved rock back to marrow)
as a bird’s cry died in her throat
as the tree bark paled from her skin
[& the leaves from her eyes
cut short & fallen green in a storm]

through all her shifts of structure
through the days when we kept
our wary distances:
sparring in the vacant spaces
of peeling rooms
and borrowed time, moving
through expected motions,
our voices abraded with fatigue,
reduced to taciturnity.

through all her shifts of structure
through these sheer cavernous
inches of air [separating us]:
she would sit on the shore
back to the water tossing small
pebbles at random over her shoulder
into the deep, thick nothing
not hearing the first stumbling
footsteps of the end.

I don’t know how to talk to people anymore. I don’t have anything to say.


To Pomanders: now I see where I was,
a year ago, measuring off distances,
disconsolately drudging up dirt,
groundward sinking toward the core of it all
—from cold dark to thermogenic red—
and through the core of it, burning.

Dear Pomanders: I suppose
one day I will end up on opposites
floating in the middle of the Indian Ocean,
drifting skyward, sunward.

Nobody on the water, and nothing, nothing but napalm glossed hands
moving choppy moving on the shore. His name is Kent and he has an almost-empty
bottle just like I do just like I do clutched in both hands between his knees
I know this because I have lived here almost as long as he has lived here
off the water and this is where he sits at night crying silent about the people who
burned the people he burned when he was just a boy. Probably not even
eighteen in Vietnam.

We spend most summer nights like this. Not speaking. He on his dock on the
edge in a fishing chair bolted into concrete dock bobbing with the leftover
waves because this time of night is “no-wake” on water. He is there and I
know he is there even though I am in the middle of the lake because he
is there every night and I drink to the sound of water-hitting haul drifting
slowly slowly toward one shore or another the sky deep blue and I am
drowning always drowning upward watching the summer moon move further
away. Even in the middle of the lake I can see shores sliding into place
on all sides and I am surrounded by land by the closed quarters of solid
empty expensive houses that are used four months tops out of every twelve
and I miss the ocean I miss the ocean and I wonder if Kent does
too but I’d never ask because we never speak. I know what it is like to
burn but I do not know what it is like to burn the way Kent burns.

I am small. I am lost. Words form strangely in the mouth.
I wait for a feeling that doesn’t come.