Bodily of Water
cerulean west, Venus risen, sole unstar, in the black east, the grand
wash emptying into a reservoir cupped by a dam, its builders men with bathtub
rings in their eyes.
boaters building in hilarity a fire on the extrasolar shore, stacking burnable material.
This is not the entirety.
Descending the concrete boat ramp, knee ache. Lapping rolls of surface feebly
sibilating at the feet. Some tall water bird. Heron, but I could be wrong, legs less-than
signs on a rock in the middle, fixed.
I hear arguments for less government.
My father died,
and a night soon after, a man stepping behind the corner of my house. I didn't think it was
him as I approached it with a stone in hand, then nothing. The therapist friend called it
normal, the shock of the arrival of the fact after having not spoken to him for years: the
phone call from a county coroner. I became aware of the rough feel sheets on my legs,
of the boxy bed. It's a substitute, I thought, wrong ghost in the wild wrong for it. I
wouldn't look, but connected it to the churning spring stars. To the wroth.
This was self-numinous.
was where he would be,
with the senseless pulsing crickets. Or taking form in the redundant smiles between
telephone poles. The third week I called the coroner, are you sure it was him? Already
cremated. Yes. Yes. The neighbors' allnight motion-detection triggered by moths. Yes,
ignite, no, extinguish.
It made sense—-a repulsive phrase.
The unforeseen beach,
the superjacent night sky phased by Vegas light, the car stereo playing nothing good, but its
malleable, neutral, less governance.
Everything said is crude.
Is there anything left? Any origin to source? No one thinks of you. Him, or me? This is
not even happening— it's reconstructed from the interim. This is supposed to help me.
This is not. It could. No, it will not.
But who's at the end of this convincing?
I am happy. The knee is pleased.
The tiny fire sulferous and shifting in the void,
unseen beach, patches of human speech and laughter out across the void. Here, and
against the old cliffs. It's fatal, private.
The critical heron is invisible now,
form less than action—that seems right—and able to imperson the partial, beginning