I will paint you over.
I will revise each line.
I’ll stand immersed in the dregs without a coat
of stones, an anchor to be tied on.
I will face this place, what it’s done, what’s
been done in return, & stare steadfast.
Oh. I see. The lungs may swell like sick starfish,
the heart stall twisted by that corrosion:
So this is how a head comes off: mine field,
hand grenade, not much clear about the business
except perhaps later after the smoke, the maintenance
Dirty job, dirty, but I suppose, like priests,
they are used to that sort of thing. I suppose, also,
this is where paintings come from, arriving
denatured, distilled for a spell.
We who ask why, knee-deep in ashes, know
the come-back is inevitable, but still can’t
as the flames whisper
Take care, take care
Feel the whoop & weave, lines
never closing only
meeting another to open
out in the folds: windows
being made & our lives
are such too between
such things of time as
Polio, custody battles,
drug tips & visions polished
despite the haze…
How jagged, how straight now,
& then a loop running through
the torment to pull this design
closer towards its purpose,
though never completed,
attainment simply in the effort
with occasionally, (how miraculous),
fingers beating ease