first kiss

yes i remember the place
and the taste of your throat
down the tracks through a hole in the fence
in the warehouse though an empty window frame

a mass-grave of books
sloughing towards the rafters
half rotted in the leaking rain
with the occasional treasure:
black-letter geometry — 1696,
latin novella — 1705.
forgotten books, their flaking secrets
now my charge and purpose

aluminum cigar tubes, polished black stones inside: inexplicable
a rodent flattened by some vanished weight, matted to paper and bones
bucket of pellets in a room with chains and hooks: cyanide
and everywhere the sunlight streaming from high windows
cars passing outside
pigeons in the rafters
the fear of getting caught

this place was planted
beyond the borders of control —
a forgotten corner of an institution
where we crawled in our time
now long torn down

in a storage room with half a chair
we dropped our bags and learned
the gentle lessons
of lips and breath
and saying nothing
amid the book-rot
and debris

now i punch my fist through the window
now i rescue this tragedy
i will pull a railroad spike from its hole
when there is nothing left to say
when words have crumbled into dust
and pin this memory to the world
in a spray of rust and rot and sun

Outdoor Shower

      softens in
      the corner
  rust and wood     
      water falls                                    two
     cellar door                            maybe three
                                             times while I’m living
                                              won’t be many more
                                                 of that I’m sadly
       give me sun                              sure
where the skin falls
  Sunday morning
      out beneath
     cloudless blue                              Larabelle,
          open air                              bathe my body
                                                      in your summer
                                                    wash my memory
                                                       like pollen from
                                                            your hair

The Lines of Eden

awake on the street
my fellow dust
the lines of Eden sag from overuse
we condense from history
thirsting ignition; at best
condemned to charity
and to rust

How many ways this march can end
trooping dissonant into the buzz
of a lost mathematic
or wrinkling gentle curves
into thistles
in the corners