Every spirit brings a perspective | Fold my awkward wings, give up the air awhile | break into the vacant house by the shore | use it as my own, a borrowed luxury | Sleep on my back on the sleek oak floor | contemplate what you’ve done to me, introducing | once more | this longed-for unease | rendered the sea a moth’s flight, the mountains | shiver in the dark | seeking safety | to the leak of wild | honey from cracks in living trees | turning the roots and earth below | sweet, and sticky, and shining || Is wild honey like that? | I don’t know | They have dropped from the tip of a telescope, are tiny, their voices | are so soft, and fine | like mist or silk, you might lower precious necklaces into them | to store out the turbulent era | bury the meat in the fire | Like chess pieces on a board, they must | keep to their squares | rook move in straight lines | the King one step at a time | When the cat disturbs | an abandoned game | I hear the figures clink and roll | Hours later, when all is still | I forget what you look like || Call it Siamese, call it a bear | It has made me its home, its den | works regular hours | keeps surfaces reasonably clean | watches the sun set from the train, is too | tired to read in the evening | Often, despite you, the flowers droop in their vases | Sheets go unwashed | You wouldn’t care for these things, but the end begins | when we started writing different kinds of poems, ones | only we cared for, bound by laws | most people couldn’t detect, never mind | understand | and the point | failed | You go against all of that, but | because I do not, quite, I | cannot bring you in here with me | to winter the summer through | or to survive | only by the thread of a stranger’s glances

Every spirit brings a perspective | You inspire in me a heightened | access to detail | respect for the nuance of matter and mood | the coagulated white smoke of the freezer | how the woods feel just before the storm | so very delicate | the trees motionless | the birdsong muted | any gesture would be lost in this, and so | I make one | Walk by the sea | recall your face | continue this | process of scattering | across the days | Like a monk, put the gold | to the ‘I’ | in a monastery cell | Drop out of school, waste my youth, then my whole life | Most of the time, the Marquess of Queensberry | had no mind for his rules

 


from the series construct (2012–present, ongoing)
(this poem, August 2013)

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