from This Melody
He told us his parents
were angels who lived
in the branches outside
They whispered and tapped
at his window when he slept,
so he climbed out and sat
in that tree for a while
with his parents, and looked at the moon.
If I built a secret house
and filled it with fireflies
and filled it with an evening
teeming with bats
then told you, pretentiously,
this is how I love you:
Imagine a bat's face
as it zigzags through the darkness,
its wonderful, vein-stippled,
Divorced and alone,
she works the night shift
and when she gets home
at dawn from her one-room
apartment and rides
through the empty city streets
And when was the first time
you realized you were lost
you ask as we drive home
later, and when I found you,
did your bones become sharper
in your body, did your teeth
gleam any brighter, and did your secret bodies,
the bodies that lined up behind you in the past,
did they shift underground
for a moment?
Angel of knowing we've seen that face before.
Angel of highway, angel of trains,
angel of the funky breeze, angel of the slapped face,
angel of the out-of-tune, angel of the outer space.
Angel of pesticides, angel of the endless-seeming,
angel of the families we've walked away from, angel
of everything we've ever said, angel of our silence.
He buys a hotel and empties all the rooms,
removes all the windows and doors,
and walks around pretending he could be a different person
in each room he enters
until he forgets himself,
for a little while. You think this can't happen?
Wind and rain ruin the floors, wild
animals make nests, and eventually a stranger
remembers who he was once. With that, he disappears.
The Mica Mine
St. Andrews Press