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ISSUE:  Spring 2017

your name for purposes of identification

how can I when it’s failed

better a border made of water

harder to cross

each seed is different

like each tongue

how many heads

was the right question to ask

of the flower

but of the dog meant

they were already wed

when he found her in the underworld

the nest of baby snakes beneath the field marigold

steady as a heartbeat

she already married it each seed

like a moon


made of fragments

caused by collision

the eyes of the snake feathery


there is no paradise without a wall

the skin of the snake peels backward over the body

even the eye molts

if she were a bird

now O., he could sing

three times the black dog opened its mouth its mouth its mouth

it’s always the mouth where the snake first breaks its old skin and twists itself out from the belly up

each tongue of the dog sweats

splits oxygen between the brains and the heart

the tongue of the snake is always moving like water

the moon slitting in the pupil

each seed of the marigold spiky

like a bright new skin

the question is always how much

light to let in

the egg

the three mouths of the dog

to each state its own bird its own flower

state the nature of their relationship is unnatural

O. the poet and his dead wife

the state itself is a structure under siege

each state its own law

state what you can do to the body what you can say in what language you can ask for it you can read it

the state cannot say where the state begins and ends

state the name of the body by the tip of the fingers

too many dead

O., order

the animals with your song

go on

back to a state of nature

we are all animals

in that animals

have no allegiance to the state

the state controls how much we can

drink on Sunday because overlords we can drink till the sun comes up on fire over the mountain the edge of the state of mercy how many guns the state controls where my baby can die if a man rapes me where I can wear my weapon in the open the size of the can of meat to subsidize how many to a prison

the state is unsupportable

the state sponsors a climate

of terror

of all the ways you wanted me you wanted me most as water

ice heat no matter the state of the morning

no matter the sea there is salt

in the meat blood and milk

of the animal

O, O. you died when they could not hear you sing

O, O. you swore in the end the song would tear you apart

golden lyre your mother taught you to place the bones of her hands where the strings should be

how to stone the course of the river

with deep blue stone

the beard hair and eyes and of the animal are blue

in the state of nature in the absence of awe we war in the state of nature all men are free within the bounds of the law of nature all men are free to order their actions in the beginning people do not know each other well enough to go to war O. could we return what would we be

tribes are united by language, say, or belief

citizens see themselves as a single people

expansion knows no state

primordial to begin

you can’t have order without it

from a row of threads in a loom

state your claim

hand in the sand

draw the line

without it

the spine

is curved in every position

draw the head as it draws

in each breath

the heart pulses outward


I’ve chosen a particular blue

my favorite part of the water

you can’t choose one part of the water you say

I say I can why

can’t you

the snake’s eyes go cloudy

the tongue functions underwater

he sang she followed he looked she divided the dirt

before the state a blank slate


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