What have you done to me?
Morning wakes light
in the window.
I pull away the covers
and lift myself up,
but my bones fall out
between the sheets.
You are still asleep;
the sun creeps across your lips
and my skeleton beside you
cups your breast in his hand,
his bones fat-yellowed
and marrowed out with desire;
I leave your side and leave my love
beside you, I leave all
the white osteology of my love.
Is my love macabre?
My love rattles.
My love clatters and clacks,
my love snaps and pops at the joints.
I cannot quiet it.
I can try to bury
all the raw cartilage and calcium
of my love, I can try to crack it
and mortar it down
to so much grey dust,
but my love must be bone:
it wrestles under the muscle
and blood of my love,
under the skin of my love,
the bones of my love are what
the tendons and tissues of my love
bind to when I love you.
My love is lunate and scaphoid.
It is vertebral, sternal, my love
is cranial and pelvic and hyoid.
My love is two hundred and six
bone white statements of my love.
The Apaches whirl low and loud
over the house today. They rattle the timbers,
they quaver the trees, shaking off twigs
and the empty nests of last year’s birds.
There are all kinds of birds
in the air here: the broad black wings
of bickering crows, the silent gliding circles
of hawks, distant Chinook and low Apache.
My father would know the variations
by the shape of the nose or the rotor’s whoop:
D-model from A, but I know them only by lazy
or rushing, by swoop or hover, when the sky is blue.
Day and night, when the weather is nice,
you hear them call to each other:
the stutter and cough of the gun on the nose,
the singular boom of rockets on the range.
No where else has these kinds of birds.
No where else feels loud enough without them.
I dreamt of you last night.
Not you by name or you by face,
but you as the fever under my skin knows you:
The great red mouth opens wide,
the tongue works at the loosened tooth,
the tongue writhes in the brine barrel,
the tongue nails itself to the deck boards,
the cats pace hungry on the porch
for a mouth of meat.
The great red mouth
yawns down a quart of honey,
yawns down a quart of molten salt
what are you trying to cure?
what are you trying to preserve?
you end yourself trying but try —
I’m done trying.
In this dream of you,
I am the tooth; I rock in the gum,
with the copper not-blood taste of error,
with the bent angle bite,
with the wrong cradle, the wrong dock
for the incisor me.
Let me leap loose
from your great red mouth;
clench your jaw and I swear to god
I’ll crack and splinter; I’ll myself shear off
even if I leave my goddamn root behind.
Great red mouth
spit me out, wrench me out,
let me berth off in a bite of red apple
or I swear to god
I’ll abscess myself. I’ll eat you alive.