after Lucie Brock-Broido
When I return I will be a braid of thistledown. Needle realm of wisped feathers. Thread monarch of breeze & pollen. Home of white weeds to perch your prayers on. Pursed lips blowingthe seeds of want. The same pits I leave as I root down off the balcony. Ripe fruit stainedto the grass. The mulberry fouled on the sidewalk & dried rank in sun. The ragweed you feelagainst your nose when the wind blows.
Yes I was supposed to die out my face cleft jagged crown-grass feudal between your front step looking out at the greying jewel of the cross-walk legs tied in a minstrel of black death. What pageantry then when I run the wind downhillmoist the shade with rain legs backed in corduroy molasses coaxed from my ribs?
unarmed minstrel. chrysalis of the death drop. shock mount skullbounced from rooftops. unwinged saucer in plunge. mudslid brain & its soured garden. I am one of these & then okra leaking pods in October gumbo. slimed sovereign of the sidewalk. ruptured tsar still steeping.
Overhear me || saying the thorn sweet || & broken the sackcloth fitted around || my arms rotting amidst the lamb || -quarters the marrow singing over them || When I return I will || be my father remembering his hands & his hands forgetting the fowl || neck of my mother in reach || & his boy in the corner boy no longer || prince of the blackened grip || future king of the night terror
[in the hungered shape of his body]
[me as my father reborn from my hacked meat]
[our hands scratching dandruff from our boy’s scalp]
[it falling like dandelions]
When I return the fields will wilttheir names in the grasses. Thorns will bear fruitfrom the blood left from curious hands fistingthe hole in my side. Ribbed rosehip. Lunged bramble.The trees will pool a lake from their roots sap thickto your voyuering eye mistaking the black waves for my bath water my muslin slacks for a cloud against the tide. A whirling egretall but snuffed out.
I salt the bath to slick the body. Emerge as a dead lotus run ashore. Muddied emperor of the water lily.I pop a Xanax in my bathrobe. Envision Jesus popping a Quaaludein the garden. Going through with it anyway.Hands staked. Feet pegged. Lips sipping lean from a sponge.Dying anyway.I betray it all. Drunk ruler of the razor blade. I save the flesh for you.scraped from the red shell of my knee caps.Urge the threat come close. The rest come closer. Three storiesfrom the top of the brownstone.Three stories from the top of the fire escape. Three minutesbefore the next train.Three hits before the high blows. Three cuts before the blood slowsinto the bathrobe.Into the bath water. Into the poem. Into the next room. God of the only son.Lord of the bastard.Threat come close. Threat come close. Neck come closer. Brain come closer.Ground come closer. Mom come closer. Dad come closer.When I return I will be a mute of bloodhounds. A charm of hummingbirds. When I returnI will be like this. Dead like this. Dying like this. Threat come close. God come closer.Egret snuffed out. Names in the grasses. Death in the grasses.Falling like dandelions.The shape of his body. The blackened grip. Tsar still steepingmoist with rain.Minstrel of black death between your front step. Threat come close.Threat come close.When I return I will be a realm of wisped feathers. When the wind blows. I will run my death down hill your fist whole in my side.