It’s true that anything can be a weapon
And anything can be an unlined face
Turned up to face the waterspout of a clear sky,
Of an unclouded Sun.
Anything can be beauty.
I want to write about mold in the sink
And the sadness that allowed it to bloom.
I want to write about the cost of not caring.
I want to write about how wonder and majesty
Can bloom in the midst of garbage,
How life can emerge from rot,
How dying things house wisdom.
I want to write about naked experience,
And the skeletal, ragged remains of the spider
That got caught in its own web and that lives on in death,
Splayed and crusted to the wall above
The bathroom closet.
I want to share the strange grief that
Pours from me, that holds vigil over the life
I never experienced, but that shone at me from a corner of the stage above my head,
Every time I turn on the light in the middle of the night
After a sudden urge to urinate, and my sleepy face
Is attuned to things that go bump, bump, bump.
I want to tell you about the mountain of unopened letters
That go straight into the metal container that opens with
A press of the foot and closes softly of its own accord.
I want to tell you, even though some industrious part of me
That is a vestige of my crafty foremothers
Dreams of creating an art project from daisy chains of
Generic form memos folded in thirds.
I want to confess to a crime
That was trivial and disgusting—like
The pile of unwashed dishes that formed soft strawberry fuzz,
Delicate as clouds of blancmange from a fancy dessert shop
Full of things my mouth stumbles over in taste and pronunciation.
I want to admit to my halting pace.
Or the curdled milk on the top shelf of the fridge,
Its putrid redolence of life in death.
It’s like a baby’s defiance in the form of soft-serve
At the bottom of its soggy diaper.
A body cannot apologize for what a body does.
I want you to know the pains I’ve taken
To hide all this from you—
The scraps of human offal: skin, boogers, earwax—
Shoved solicitously into a dustpan that never stops collecting
Signs of trespass.
I want to break the mirror when I
See my feeble form within it, the dark shadows
Beneath my eyes that betray the hours
I’ve spent obsessing over order.
I’d like to imagine that in a hundred years,
This house will no longer be here.
The symbols of my impatience, my incapacity to sit
With a thought or an object or
A relic of my mortality for an uncomfortable ellipsis of time,
Will have been swept away by a final reverie,
A meditation from which the mind and body won’t escape.
Perhaps you’ll see my body, withered and bent,
Covered in layers of lichen and spider vein,
Which poke up from a sea of broken floorboards.
Perhaps you’ll see the rosebushes and lanky gorgeous tendrils
They call weeds
Sharing space with the soft aged broccoli
And decaying rolls of paper towels.
Among these many lives I could not save
Or tidy into a fixed diorama of homey cheer,
Something honest will emerge.
Humor me, considering that I did not customarily stop
To gaze at speckled-blue robin eggs
Or walk the length of a tree to
Treat myself to a rare glimpse of nature undressing.
So may what I write live beyond me
Like a bolt of cloth thrown up into the sky
Unraveling in an unmarked future
In which time does not fester into regret
In which everything is given space to
Be, to change.