Saturday, August 3, 2013

FENCE

(a love poem)



A fence runs between
the houses whose rooms
are stacked with boxes of things
that collected over the decade,
ephemera of years that started
when love was love and duty
was a man in a tank watching
Aral mountain ranges on the
other side of a Cold War border,
hands ready for the pistol
and radio at his reach
lest any hoards tried
to dilute the United States of America
in storage,
I slept like a bone in
an airless vault.

But everything
was turned inside out
by the time I woke up,
the fence remains
but everything
I live next to is three stories high,
even TV antennas snatching images
from the sky are  gone from my view,
chimneys are rare
as  honesty at retirement parties,
satellite dishes sneak
the world to
my house of boxes.

And love became duty
to remain on the border
of the bed
my limbs stayed in,
too late realizing that
the line of death was
my breath heavy with scotch and mouthwash
and pithy  perfumes for the tongue
when all my speech became poetry
about duty and honor   while she nodded and brushed her daughters' hair, she takes a loose strand
from her shoulder, she examines the end, the hair is split,
voiceless, she speaks

This where it ends,
I cannot breath,
there are fences running all over the world going somewhere
and all
we do is put the past away
in boxes until the corners of rooms
crowd me
and speaks to me in loops of your language
that's liquid and lost in attention to
details that are about why
you become invisible
even in bed,
which is more like a mining camp
than the place where
dreams slip across the darkness
when we've stopped talking, when our eyes are closed,
when our breathing should be the same,
not a race to the sunrise.

Everything is inside out
and I'm stupid enough
to believe that the man in the tank
loves the world even as bombs go off
around the limits of our fences,

But now I love a room
with high ceilings,
empty corners,
rooms big to swing
a cat by the tail,
where my voice  rises high
and loud and rings against
the pipes and then dies
away like notes plunked
from a fine-tuned piano,
I love the discovery shoes,
sober talk, doors without locks,
windows left open
with every racket of car alarm
and leaf blower
and weekend carpenter
speaking to me in sounds
that bustle
in phonics that flash a language
that words trail
like a dog after its master
where back yards yield to one another
like lovers wearing blindfolds in abandoned parks
horrified that they might
be passing each other as
both their reaches miss their
objects of desire
and both of them walk sightless in the other direction,
around corners
and into busy traffic
before one, and then the other
takes off the blindfolds
to discover that they are
in a different city
than where they started the day,
every one is in another part of
the map, fenced in with invisible lines
that is the borders armies
make whole populations extinct for,
the world
might learn to do something
with fences that run up and down the
avenues and right into the living rooms
so that the couches and beds have
politics in every position you assume
running from stress, I say,

unwind my string
and kiss me, please,
you are a moon I want to have orbit me,
I am a gravity you cannot deny,
you make my fences sway in
your bluster and flower print dresses,
I regret fences I set up the day
you left town,

the last thing to be seen
were you on the other side of the fence
getting into your red Volvo
just before you drove away

with my heart in your trunk.