1.
I want to press apples on
the floorboards of your attic,
tow you away in blossom.
my song of floodlights.
tinsel-silent rain.
a lamp’s wick.
I want to sit two brussels sprouts
at your kitchen table.
and crawl to you with
salamander eyes—
the waltz of poached egg
and garage.
I want to wait at the
luggage carousel,
watching your unclaimed
bag go around.
pour from me
as though I were a carnival,
winding my string of
colored bulbs in the quarter-light.

2.
if we unclench our throats
all heads and song will fall away.
quisling brudy strophes,
the late fall wind.
quiet bub. we plodded the sweep,
the corpse of a potato bug
blown in October from our cafe table.
we ate the dirt it became,
my friends we ate the dirt.

3.
the winnowed husks
of statues in unlit gardens.
or unspoken tunnels, in an inlet.
your teeth were the minnows
that swam from your head.
and sound is fire without vanity.
the wind in its collar and
milk-crate flight.
a werewolf’s gamble across
the hoods of cars,
at the hour when you sleep,
with eyes like cups of white tea.

4.
the half yawn of
streetlamp before morning.
a faint glow, song
unleaving.
to illume is to pond all
in shadow.
the sun is bread half
floating in sinkwater.
we fall to the ground
cinders and tomato,
we move from a fragrance
to a gesture.
a leak in the bedroom
fills a pan with old cinema,
our teeth dropping like flies.

5.
now the sound of white
plaster to moist earth,
of autumn leaves to
staircase, and the unfed moths.
unfolding a tarp or a fishing net.
the drub of silence.
turning the flame back of
a kerosene lamp.
beneath the table cloth,
the movie house lights go down.
a blossom to those that mourn,
with a tongue lashing so rude.
each a brutal rain,
a blade of grass,
a quiver, a fallen seed.

6.
the stars are always
loitering in the country.
never buying. never tipping
the waitress who lives in
a silver liner in a campground.
it’s like loading the jukebox,
turning down the lights, and leaving.

7.
tonight I will keep you alive
by falling asleep in a chair
with the lamp still on.

8.
there is room for a fence
between ours and the neighboring yard.
there is room for oceans
between us.
at the theater I sit aisles apart,
waiting to fall open like
the tailgate of a truck,
to skitter like an onion
peel across the floor
of an otherwise vacant kitchen.