another feral claim

in one month i have met two Noahs
it has been raining a lot for June
luckily there are no mountains near Chicago
otherwise this could be cause for alarm
i did hear the sirens tested today

not the kind you might thrash

your head on a rock for but

the splitting result is the same

i’ve been thinking about what our sewers
can hold and what they can filter out
when the Cumberland flooded
Nashville water took more chlorine
quixotic maybe that
we beg our environments for purity

my sink doesn’t have a garbage disposal

hormones supposedly pass through

about half of prescription drugs according to a June 2011 Harvard report

i still drink from the tap

i glut myself on it

this water this self/
this /medication

where in your body do you remember your grandmother?

moving a mattress in the rain
it’s only a sprinkle one person says

we could back the truck up to the door
or, we could wait for it to lighten up

they exchange more options
i can’t overhear entirely

one asks me what i would do
i tell them i moved in rain as well

but that was september so
i’m unsure if that applies to you two

rain’s a good omen i think at least
not in my case necessarily

but rain like this in these caviar droplets
the sky coming down to meet us

pretty considerate anyway
and growth and all that

kinda like thanks and maybe a laugh
we shared the load into the hallway

up the stairs the elevator broken
six hands on a bed and tattered clouds

 

apostrophe

trees accepting the hail as if trying to catch them
they cannot (the leaves)
be seen like this
with eyes or light the thought scatters
looking under the object appears
reasonable but i don’t know
many trees by sight or sound
i usually just ask
what my hands are
against the bark and leaves
how does water associate with them
two distinct bodies always growing
losing parts of themselves to the wind
the parts become their own
and collecting becomes an afterthought
to ask another what we must do
is a very small and clogged storm sewer

ode

a hand is stepped on but not broken
another reaches for it and pulls the mud
body up into the preposterous explosion
elbows becoming intimate with cheeks

heads nuzzling together so quickly
flying apart and the hollow bone sound
absence makes before the next collision
many chests and soft backs naked

i wonder if most of these men and boys
will get this close to each other
would they hug / without shirts
but you my mosh pit of mixing

have brought all kinds of kissing
into their lives as flamethrowers
ignite on stage as someone throws
a full beer into the security guards
as brief and violent as so many affects and affections

 

between

in a clear bag, the last eighth of an avocado
browns. the peel does nothing but twist
in its blisters. i know it was too much to ask

of the avocado to last for two days
since they’ve lasted three thousand years longer
than the giant sloth, the last creature

capable with the only bowels large
enough to pass the fantastic seed
most of us call a pit. the pit is only for drupes

which at one point meant only olives,
but now we give this name to guavas,
cherries, peaches, plums, and would you

believe in an avocado any more
if its history was not rife with human
hands? we are all shaped by the callouses

on our parents’ palms or whoever held us.
maybe this is why it’s hard for me to trust
people / people raised them / like avocados

and this avocado is surrounded by sesame
seeds. the bag used to hold bread but before
that it was peppers. the point being

impossible to pin down like the yogurt
next to the avocado but i have shaped
it into writhing. now to fill

the trashbag dripping banana juice
and coffee grounds, i did love
it for as long as it was useful to me.

it must be ours / a different kind
of love, if sunburnt or plundering.

 

all the edges are perforated

the crab apple tree holding a home security sign in its trunk
the small green bodies on the ground
behind the gate which they said is always unlocked

what good is a lock/set of blue eyes
or three pairs of needle-nose pliers
to hold things from escaping
in a cloud cloaked afternoon

trying to decide how many buttons should be left open
engorged yesterday pushing into right now
sleep is not the wooden privacy fence i was taught to believe in
no razor wire let alone a latch

the package drop the upstairs neighbors made
flakes off particle board
god yes for any kind of slush fund
any uneasy atom smasher

a gash is growing between knowledge of the self and its readymade suggested use
rinse and repeat i am told if needed
when i get home to shower at 11 pm
from viewing a new apartment
i tripped the breaker again

the basement is locked, but i discover a box
a mess of cables like an old phone switchboard operator
if i could just find the right opening

i’m just at the front door reading the junk mail

not a ribbon lettered exactly but close
if neatly curled then sparrow song

if stripped and waiting then leftover rice
in the fridge with no cover and a strange film

how to preclude a disaster the shape of
locking yourself out at midnight twenty

it’s the same as picking up a conversation
after three years and missing the punchline

because the reception in this building is trash
i still can’t hear a word you’re saying since

this wind has picked up / the unmixed cement
is all over me / i know / i’ll brush it off in a second

to my earliest local library (after Kenneth Koch)

wasn’t it in your many arms
of swivel chairs that you taught me
how to smear myself online?
we had dial-up at the house

but location is in real estate and in kissing
perhaps more important than the contents,
though you were so full
of yourself when i had to take a sink bath

the summer of 2006 when Desiree of red hair handed me my first cigarette, a menthol,
and K met me within you to hide our bodies within each other among the stacks, of which there are few. there are in truth no places to hide in you, but we were never found.

and wasn’t it you who sat between the overstock
store and the Lipton Tea Company? well the recycling lot was in there too when i first
thought i could impress someone by tossing
things away and leaving them to rot.

you were there at least, Mid-Continent
South Independence Branch, but you were so cool
in summer. the twenty minute walk so worth
the air conditioning and in fifth grade
you said nothing when i started reading
those murder/sex detective thrillers. how many

ways do you know to grow up? do any of them work
like home remedies? like apple cider vinegar or a memory?

could we have a word?

i’d like to aromaburn the night
there’s a tree here sledging somewhere
and you are already within it
what sound does it make when you touch the ground and crumple
what rock would make a warm nest to bruise a knee on
i don’t trust the tree branches to break your fall
i don’t know the kind of leaves it carries

 

this is only a temporary position

afternoon a wondrous time to pick the branches off the road
for fifteen an hour i forgot to bring gloves
the world is wet when you’re close
the slime of rain and storm
all these worms i try not to batter
they have seen so much more
of earth than me their segments and pink bandaid bodies
they way they glow on this dark asphalt
they could offer me an apple
let me know i’ve been guttingly wrong
how readily i’d accept it and eat
as if sacred knowledge ever came from the living / but if offered i will take every greedy / bite
my way through the grime i’ve come to know
dirty blistered fingers to my lips