Engines within the Throne
We once worked as clerks
scanning moth-balled pages
into the cloud, all memories
outsourced except the fuzzy
childhood bits when
I was an undersized girl with a tic,
they numbed me with botox.
I was a skinsuit
of dumb expression, just fingerprints
over my shamed
all I wanted was snow
to snuff the sun blades to shadow spokes,
muffle the drum of freeways, erase
the old realism
but this smart snow erases
nothing, seeps everywhere,
the search engine is inside us,
the world is our display
and now every industry
has dumped cubicles, desktops,
fax machines into developing
worlds where they stack
them as walls against
what disputed territory
we asked the old spy who drank
with Russians to gather information
the old-fashioned way,
now we have snow sensors,
so you can go spelunking
in anyone’s minds,
let me borrow your child
thoughts, it’s benign surveillance,
I can burrow inside, find a cave
pool with rock colored flounder,
and find you, half-transparent
A Wreath of Hummingbirds
I suffer a different kind of loneliness.
From the antique ringtones of singing
wrens, crying babies, and ballad medleys,
my ears have turned
They resurrect a thousand extinct birds,
Emus, dodos, and shelducks, though some,
like the cerulean glaucous macaw,
could not survive the snow. How heavily
they roost on trees in raw twilight.
I will not admire those birds,
not when my dull head throbs, I am plagued
by sorrow, a green hummingbird eats me alive
with its stinging needle beak.
Then I meet you. Our courtship is fierce
in a prudish city that scorns our love,
as if the ancient laws of miscegenation
are still in place. I am afraid
I will infect you
after a virus clogs the gift economy:
booming etrade of flintlock guns sag.
Status updates flip from we are all
connected to we are exiles.
when in that same prudish city,
they have one exact word to describe the shades
of their sorrow, when they always sit together
and eat noodles during white days
of rain, in one long table,
though not all.
As a boy, my father used to trap
little brown sparrows, bury them in hot coal,
and slowly eat the charred birds alone
in the green fields, no sounds,
no brothers in sight.
Holiest are those who eat alone.
Do not hurt them, do not push them, insult them,
do not even stare at them, leave
them to eat alone, in peace.