I

 

miami woods prairie & labagh

 

the cobalt mouth sleeps stolid as steeping tea

haunted, umbrellas scattering grey on the stones below

there is alien transparency in the golden grass outside

from this vantage point

the spiny prairie flowers are fecund with skeletons' murmur

on drugs maples are undeniably anthropomorphic

to the extent that I project something like gender, age,

texture of gentleness, shapes of face bones onto—

riding where the shimmering day pauses in darkened bouts

wind hush, jasmine tint, you can look forever out

a thickness that recalls all that may be buried here

even with highway sounds just to the west

 

II

 

rock cut

 

a pod clips off from a buckling leaf

bouncing biscuit to where we sleep

returning home the next night I strum

through journals of my past, knobs

of forgotten lessons are puckering lesions, scabs

found in the laundry: bark, crispy mossycup

 

an unexpected image brightens my mind

slowing down sighting the overpass ruts

my kisses are sent out through storms in the valleys of your eyes

a buoy on a scorpio lake

you pick the black seeds from the dried flutes

and pocket them for later

 

we stroke beaded ferns and syrupy ginko like ancient fabric

and I consider that I may trust you

windows in the woods permit cornfields and trucks—through

the torrent of prairie heat builds under the tracks

a snapping milkweed muffles the highway

surrounded by thousands of chirping residents

fantastically old, it only exists because it can never fully develop

 

I enter the past moments after I leave your company

notebooks are crawl spaces with the light switch in tact

I sense trust for myself tucked in the tent

with a heart as tall as the grey headed cone flower

 

III

 

to zion

 

the lake splits with fitful winds

grey crests hurtle like liberated dogs, further

out a seam of sand parts the deepness from what is headed this way

a waiting place, constipated, a shelf to witness

past and present

 

obscure shadows kaleidoscope around your eyes and mouth

moving too with the breeze

long purple flowers bend at new joints

they morph the longer we stay,

becoming intimate with what they will go through

 

we were sick when we came here to hide for a moment

I am home, now and the anxiety is denser

a recent pardon, an expanding nebula of online fascist organizing,

dozens to thousands drowning in rain’s resistance

the sea is teaching us that she does not have the patience to discern

 

these feather petals drink from lake spray overhead

the wind is too cumbrous and so they fall

bud bored into the sand and butter rocks

 

forty miles north of chicago we can hear the hurricane in texas,

bangladesh, through the oaks and cherry choke

I hear you cry from the cold at three in the morning

I clutch the ground and fear our tent will be cast away like so much

that our befriended neighbor tree will buckle with new joints

and interrupt the sobs in your chest where I lay still