I’d give a fuck about the world outside
If Tennessee and its American
Holly swallowed me whole;
if Thuja Green
Giants would grow to armies, thick in toothed
if banjoes reigned, string plucked
if the sky at Greens’ View seethed
Nashville and boiled over;
if green plains
Curled with the breeze that wreathed white Skullcap grins.
I’d give an arm for rye at 2 a.m.
I’d give a leg to have my pulse slow down,
An eye to keep from crying, give this machine
Connected to my butterfly-pricked vein
If I could go back to my summer home
Where i won’t dial 911 or hear
The plan to ship me down to Vanderbilt.
My voice, all swoll’ up in the chest, and broad,
Had said, that box cutter you found was just
For packages: said, I agree; there will
Be someone else; It’s August; nine times three
Is twenty-seven; yes, ma’am: no, there ain’t
No misery that’s worth nobody’s life.
I wouldn’t say I have a knife at home,
Nor would I swear I’ve often heard the cows
In Tennessee declare, no more of your
Imaginings. In Cincinnati streets,
I saw a brown calf chew on too-big cud.
I lifted up his ear to see the pink;
In Tampa, said, I’m out for blood.
Could only find the means to watch the world
Implode—its red hot core naked, salt-thick
With blues—and, then, recuperate as if,
Like all of us, it has something to prove.