Identification of the Hawk
“It is a joy to be hidden and a disaster not to be found”
I am the tattered hawk eating the little songbird
God left behind to ponder desire.
Ideation is a pastime, and I pass it.
Haggard in the mirror. I held something terrible in
for so long. Crouched, vengeful as Tybalt in the closet
with oilcloth and stiff boots and fossilized dog shit,
a leather belt around my neck at age twelve
I throttled in but gave up, mutilated thief,
drawing boobs on the vintage airplane wallpaper pattern
rocking to the music of a synthesizer drum demo.
And once, in summer, I handled a frog for hours. Still
and disturbed, it floated like a toy
when I put it back in the water—wouldn’t even try
to get away anymore. I watched and watched, then bored, went
and smashed the community garden’s tomatoes in the road
and felt the hot rough mouths of jersey cattle
with a handful of grass, my arm flung over the barbed wire
nailed to rough logs running a line through the marsh
and asters— burdock in my hair and my thighs cut up from
blade grass; I knew all the songs from Oliver! having played
the small role of housekeeper. Made maps that led out; wanted
to be met by the streetlamp, but never did
feel brave enough in the proceeding dark—yes, we were joyfully hidden then, and
I could always be found, in the shed out back, barefoot and
bent, eating the flushed heads of red clover and
tying up the dolls again.
The Good Fruit of Relation
It is a kind of cruel trick of nature, to look like someone else.
Night draws a question mark on the floor
in its white dead star paint, hatchet-faced moon, bled dry.
Night burns a vision into me.
I look like someone else, and another, but
shame is and not as good as anger, I’ve learned—yes,
I’ve learned: the purportedly good fruit of Relation—
I eat and eat, until my eyes are sore.
We come tearing into the world pruning, pulling
at the edges—and we take what we can get, willingly.
I keep imagining a way I get out of this world, but
I want to be here, is the problem.
I <3 Fortinbras
Fortinbras felt so good
the way he came after everyone was dead
with an army, and their complexes were dead
dead, dead, but still soft, the flush
just barely drained from of their cheeks,
when he passed sadly, they lay at his legs.
Fair and fleet as fawn—original
rages. And his sadness felt for them all.
Finally we all got to feel
like shit about the whole thing.
Fair and fleet as fawn—his eyes. No one
moving. Yet someone arrives.
The poison always made me excited; indiscernible smear
upon a sword, the pearl dropped in wine,
an already gone but moving
mother, swooning to see the men bleed, in blue silk
made by many servants—
I stand in my driveway
imagining the pyre I would make.
The whole afterlife of my life. I stand
in Springtime in my driveway with many sounds
and the lilacs and astringent dandelion breeze,
speaking to myself, as I have never spoken before.
Author photo by Daniel Schechner