Two Harbors

At his first funeral a child asks, “Why can’t we die naked?”
Outside the headlights stretch each raindrop like cotton, and if you listen,
the old drops say: “I was before god, I remember when
our only task was to cool the lava.”
So the child thinks of the universe before it exploded, the infinite
dense speck waiting it’s turn. I know youth might just be a charming
mistake, but why can’t we die naked? Why don’t we walk and spill
the gum out of our mouths and promise to love the thing that
steps in it?
Maybe all I want is to comb the hair at the crook of your arm and
watch it fall like a stray
kite to the floor. Maybe wherever it lands, I want to build a house.
I want to get my teeth rusty,
to wheelbarrow myself through a city, to trust another’s spit.
There are certain places I wouldn’t fuck even if no one was watching,
even if no one was alive to watch.
It’s these places, sacred as my sister’s navel, that frighten and even though I
don’t own a dog, daily I fear I’ll come home to my
dog being dead. The only reason the sea salt collects at
the tips of my eyelashes is to tell where I’ve been thinking of you.
When I get into the shower and find your hairs tangled and knotting my
drain, the water growing cold at my toes, I grow cold too
and think that maybe I’ll walk in a circle alone until I dissolve
into the track my shadow wears into the earth, like the bright rectangle where
a picture of you had hung.
I want to build a house but if I do there will be a room with my father’s belongings
and daily I will have to rustle through to find his keys, suck their rounded edges to remember his face. It would be a small wildlife for
I could forget something like a city if I was there long enough.
I could pass through my skin so that my body might impersonate my
birthplace; so that I might become coherent like a child in a rowboat. I
am not a house, I am not even the open lot that remains after the
house is razed, I am that vacancy registered when
the building is removed, that shifting out at the edges of
memory that tells you something here is now different.

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