When we argued about animals we said
political not lingual and
opened the closet door kept usually
closed. Inside the animals
were clothed in their narrows, answering to
he and she—what
difference what name? What name could be so wrong
so as to render creature other
than its memory of self?—males spilling
eels and the females in the parlour,
grinding salt. The animals may despise
the way we try so hard, if they possess
the caudal fin which is devised
to despise—An eye for an eye
says the elephant, in the dream we have
of elephants—yet, flying
we keep low
over faraway countries
of which we know nothing, dropping
feed to fatten rosebuds, or else babies
on the vine. Animal, let me come for you. Another day
I will come for you. I will be
stuffed with feeling, flung
open like the daylily cluster, petals
crushed to tropical powder.
The animals wait in the field,
horns unlocked. When
the brown bear sinks it is
against expectation and the physical heart
a hundred miles
to the river recently
swollen with flood
and the physical heart unbuttoning
year after year, waiting for sun to assume its position.
Fat drops of black like ink
spread on the surface of stones. Elsewhere
lichen is green as seedlings and interrupted
by moss. If you could make what is quick
even quicker and with a pin thrust out
the petals of a thousand cherry blossoms all at once
like frantic tossing blooms
from the back of a truck, you could also see
with this type of quickness
petals gather force
then shoot out like a shout.
Then the easy wither on branches,
hundreds of heart attacks contained in twine.
When fat tomatoes ripen
in a cluster too fat and run-over with pulp,
it is too much to hold in the hand or not
waste. If you seize the thin gland between male spilling
flanks, you may make
perfume with it. Is this not more
than the sum of parts? Is this not more than knowing
which heartpart to swallow, chew and eat?
The doe's eye glossy not
I would that its eye
come close to mine, fire-
worked of vine, blistering skin,
long-leaping as a creature, real creature,
outside. How else can a leap be
but outside? Its redness a color unseen in the dark.
waiting only for the sun to assume its position.
Don't imagine, cool out quick, empty like
a bleached bone, sky drained towards the edge
of no color, when later, there is working,
and the purse zippered and the willful waiting and coffee spilling, and then
the deer. The deer
trying to tell but she was not. The deer
making sound but it was not. Its rolled
eye sideways not looking. The real heart
loud pump sounding and viscous-eared.
Accord of time and space
but no amity.
How to address it. Deer, deer—
but to whom else shall I speak? Not
you which brings us too close
for mud, for shale roofs and damaged houses—not thou,
and then again
high on the ridge of stunted junipers,
the rocks are dipped
with fat black drops. Even lichen cannot recall
a color outside the palette of decay. Rocks in slow decay,
sore skin friction. Give me
the moment before,
the intensity of its not looking.
in the river and along the banks
and buried afloat above its silty bottom are creatures
you never dream of
and have never seen.
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