"My left hand will live longer than my right. The rivers
of my palms tell me so.
Never argue with rivers. Never expect your lives to finish
at the same time. I think
praying, I think clapping is how hands mourn. I think
staying up and waiting
for paintings to sigh is science. In another dimension this
is exactly what’s happening,
it’s what they write grants about: the chromodynamics
of mournful Whistlers,
the audible sorrow and beta decay of “Old Battersea Bridge.”
I like the idea of different
theres and elsewheres, an Idaho known for bluegrass,
a Bronx where people talk
like violets smell. Perhaps I am somewhere patient, somehow
kind, perhaps in the nook
of a cousin universe I’ve never defiled or betrayed
anyone. Here I have
two hands and they are vanishing, the hollow of your back
to rest my cheek against,
your voice and little else but my assiduous fear to cherish.
My hands are webbed
like the wind-torn work of a spider, like they squeezed
something in the womb
but couldn’t hang on. One of those other worlds
or a life I felt
passing through mine, or the ocean inside my mother’s belly
she had to scream out.
Here when I say “I never want to be without you,”
somewhere else I am saying
“I never want to be without you again.” And when I touch you
in each of the places we meet
in all of the lives we are, it’s with hands that are dying
When I don’t touch you it’s a mistake in any life,
in each place and forever."
"They warned me like this: by setting the colosseum on fire.
The Gods are furious that I have loved you more than I have loved them.
Here, let me explain, there’s a cherry tree growing inside of my stomach and instead of bending towards heaven, the branches are leaning to wherever you are closest.
This probably means that you’re light.
This probably means that you’re devastating.
This probably means that I will be on fire if I touch you.
That’s okay, light me up. I’ll hand you the gasoline. I’ll hand you the spark. It’s already there.
And I don’t mean because I’m crazy and it hurts, I just mean that I’m already burning up for you.
Somehow it’s a miracle, somehow the healers are shaking their heads and wondering how anyone can be ash from the inside out and still be alive.
Tell them I’m a tree, tell them I’m a phoenix, tell them anything but ‘there’s this woman and I’m new because of her.’
Honestly, I did, I told them about you and they don’t believe me but this is why the Gods are angry.
Because I have started calling you miracle.
Because I’ve left my heart out on the street for you.
Because the crows are pecking at it and saying ‘for her’ as they go.
That’s okay, I don’t mind.
I’ve loved you like this.
It’s the only way I’ve known how.
Let them be furious, we’ll tell them it was on purpose, we’ll say it was deliberate.
‘Yes, I knew exactly what I was doing.’
‘Yes, I burned everything down for her.’"
"This is how we heal.
I will kiss you like forgiveness. You
will hold me like I’m hope. Our arms
will bandage and we will press promises
between us like flowers in a book.
I will write sonnets to the salt of sweat
on your skin. I will write novels to the scar
of your nose. I will write a dictionary
of all the words I have used trying
to describe the way it feels to have finally,
finally found you.
And I will not be afraid
of your scars.
I know sometimes
it’s still hard to let me see you
in all your cracked perfection,
but please know:
whether it’s the days you burn
more brilliant than the sun
or the nights you collapse into my lap
your body broken into a thousand questions,
you are the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen.
I will love you when you are a still day.
I will love you when you are a hurricane."