BUCKAROOS

I’m going to let you do the talking.
Nervous isn’t the right word. Scared.
Seriously?
Seriously.
That was before I had that dream,
the same one you had been having every night
where the furniture and the room and the light
were all the same shade of almost-green,
exactly how you left it in 1982.
And I ask you a direct question, “does this matter?”
but you take out a box of that sweet pop from the cabinet and hand it over.
Your hand is still on the box when you say, “this is instead of giving you five buckaroos.”
After we both had the dream
you begged me to pour water over your neck
because it was just too burning hot,
and with my hand still on the pitcher I try to imagine gulf streams of water
pouring from my hands and filling the room
so that your fever dissolves onto the floor
and you coolly swim to your own slow, slowing beat.
But instead I am back in the same green,
this time outside in the front yard for everyone to see us holding hands
and charging wildly as the arc of the sprinkler
fans over us and we leap to the other side.
VAGUS, part I.

I will make it plain.
They are going to disconnect
the cord between
your heartbeat
and your heart
but it will save your life,
they say.
On one end:
the crashing fling of anxious protest
against reason
a thorough seeping
a bleeding out low and slow
an anthem of electric despair.
On the other:
Nothing, but a well-timed pulse.
And this thinly-drawn line aching between the two.
THE GLORY OF KINGDOMS

When we stood upon the flat earth
preparing for the big storm
you were determined
to save every last one of them.
But I was content to let a few drop to the ground
for the sake of the cause.
We stood strong-shouldered;
pulling the vines skyward into the lower ranks of heaven
and said silent fruit-prayers,
praying they wouldn’t be cast out.
Though I knew, “kadota kuin tuhka tuuleen.”
Such beauty’s day would not be prolonged.
Such is the nature of violent weather
and low-hanging fruit.