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

which words.


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.








Places I've Been

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