I say I garden and it is the truth.
Chervil and chives, black fingernails,
I know the all of it, how snails meander
along drainpipes, how they will eat the squash flowers
if you don’t lead them away, patient.
I wait, cold in my johnny, for a man,
(Vaseline sheen, beetle eyes, expectant)
who tells me that gardens are good hobbies,
that my bones will fall like white toothpicks.
I have this theory: a boy down the street
played his drum kit when he saw me run.
Quarter to five he waited with a white-socked foot
on the pedal of a kick drum for the girl
he couldn’t describe except by quick legs, baggy shorts.
I deconstruct the drummer dream.
We ate crackers together, kindergarten,
took speckled chicks from an incubator, soft
beats from their pea sized hearts. He doesn’t know
the in between bits of what he thinks
he sees now and the finger-painted then
My stomach is a teabag, uprooted organisms
swept into a porous satchel I decide
before my nurse asks if I wanted ginger.
Siddhartha is coming on at nine,
static peace behind a plastic screen.
My blood is burnt caramel.
My head is birdcage.
I think they lost my body
somewhere along the way
I think of a small you, before religion,
mustard silks, dirt on your knees,
the sun, a fig, in your sky. I peel back
your eyelids, slow. Carousal lights
dapple the paused records. Enlightenment hid
the needle in a sock drawer.
My spine mirrors a thorned stalk’s submission
to the pendulum wind, split on sheets.
Silent sap leaks warm. I keep us
in the flowerbed for the replanting,
I am the only one who returns.