There were hyacinths warm as waffles, & starvation seemed just
like a dream, silvery and elegant
as the apple blossoms churning out their suds
in the small groves on the hillsides. Because the moon
was a lavender saltlick & because when I opened
my mouth, a girl-ghost flickered right
out of my throat. Then I walked through the streets
as a penitent, begging you for a word. Then I climbed the 100 basilica steps
on my knees. Then I lit 1000 votives
and wept 1,000,000,000 tears. I begged for a god
who could hear me. I annealed myself in prayer. Still, you pressed your hands
to my lips till I wasn't real. Outside there was mud & crocuses
sprang up like purple speakers from the loam. Deafening frog song pumped
from tiny, unseen frogs. There were little lame balloon men
afoot in every square, trolling
for dates in every city park. How they wheeled their tanks
past the fountains. How they twisted balloons into shapes. Rocketships and monkeys.
Skyscrapers and giraffes. Then the streets unfurled a renaissance of bikes.
You don't even know which questions.
You don't even know
I wanted your voice
to be in me. I wanted the dirt on your hands.
Because the grass was green as instinct & algae swarmed through the pond
like a diver's hair, like the Horseshoe Nebula.
Now, it's spring on the carnival rides. On the buildings, banners saying do, do, do.
Next time, we'll be strangers
but I swear, I'll know who you are. I promise
I'll be the three-headed dog, all slobber, all rolling tongue. I promise
I'll be the boatman. Look: I can swim the length of the pool in a single breath.
When I fell asleep on a park bench, sunlight filled my veins.
Now I am "illumined." My skin is a radiant isotope.
My heart is a sea wasp, pulsing under glass.
In the dream, my teeth were icons.
In the dream, my teeth dropped out of my mouth like stars.
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