There is shifting
before the first drop
as thunder shatters stones in the sky.
You stir, white shoulder lifting
as the world churns and churns.
When you were born,
after your DNA tore and knit,
your blood set doctors to muttering.
I like to imagine you in the womb,
with God and the Devil dickering.
They stared through your mother.
The serpent demanded
essential humours and phlogistan.
But even then you fought.
As the Devil wound around,
you kicked so hard that
your mother clutched her belly and cried.
The pendulum of your leg
burst the window and split the air.
In New York, a butterfly blew off course.
In London, Big Ben struck a tardy hour.
In Korea, a light wind brushed a boy's hair.
He giggled and smiled for a picture
that carried him to a family across the ocean.
The serpent slithered away
as you screamed.
as the deathclocks in your legs
wound and wound
all their hours and minutes
Until they sink into the vanishing
edge of the sun.
He left you to burn in the dark.
In other moments, waking moments,
I stare into the green stones of your eyes.
You kiss me and place me in your pocket.
I would follow you, if I could.
I would dance with you on
the broken edges
shout the unknown words
echo the endless hills
eat blossoms in the rain
I cannot. There are places where
no one else can tread. Where
the gears, wound like a serpent,
click toward the stop.
There will be a moment after I am gone,
after memories of memories sigh like ghosts in the dark
when you will remember how I loved you.
How I curled up like a dog and
licked your limping flesh.
There is a moon this night
a super moon, a tidal moon
a vast orb blotting the darkness
there is a dog who greets us before the muddy slope
then wanders out of sight as we descend
we lie side by side
as the water licks and
wind rattles a flag
that rattles its line
that rattles its hook
the stars, you say,
the ancients drew
gods from their arcs
gods from their arcs
I imagine cries into the spray
the desperate creak of a tied, taut rope
We are sailors floating between cleaved seas
when they breathed fatal water,
the world blurring like melted glass
did they grasp at the lights above?
cast thoughts homeward?
send ripples to their newborn's brow?
and in the final night,
did they sink in peace
or thrash until their arms turned to oars
and then to stone?