Coronavirus Meditations, Poems Written Under Quarantine
The sleepers travel deep into the country:
finding fallen-by, leaked feeding-thistles
with poison extracted by bewildered officers
through stomachs too damaged from blind roads.
Dreams break in them.
Berries boil skulls from calories
of night-seeing in them.
The landfills become trays
of chimney swifts:
dough of birds,
yolk of orchids:
ovens burrowing in the compost.
Womanness crouches within her.
If saltwater speaks of angels,
shows sketches along chimera nerves,
then could rain behind her cells
replace my mother?
A young mouth opens to the surface
in a thunderstorm. A corpse
holds a match before diving into
the overflow: a painting of an acre
raptured from Europe. Bombs trapped
in her ears. She smooths the surface closed
and extinguishes the flame.
Light-adrift: a sickened archangel.
In untangling days, trash nets capture bodies
eating food the universe grows.
The migration of bones. Fish cry out
with beaten faces. The embankment crawls
from olive water. Forgive my freezing howl,
says a Psalmist. Before bed, the listening rain
releases unbearable things.
Everything in the flesh that has not yet
acquired form . . .
Irradiated finches nesting in hospital birches.
Children with faces of cinnamon and frankincense.
Spider dust at night fall rooting with tinder smoke.
Ashen birds gathering in oyster clouds.
Eyes of withering blackberries dyeing the snow.
Small portions of fallout becoming lungs,
scattering breath like bell-buoys impersonating the air.
Perfect fullness being flowers.
Like Lazarus in the dark dragging
saltwater roots through the driveway.
Concrete attempts at replanting snipped
rooftop sonatas. The raised beds
of smoke trail gardens and the first birds
to sing counter-clockwise:
Perching on algae’d-teeth. Resting on
nests of lice hatchlings. The world meant-to-be
lived in: gristle fields of blanched dropsy
spun by an infected, distant heaven.
A boy spouts seawater in violent couplets.
In the overdosed bodies, rise combers of
golden traffic, of recorded coughs and winter-dead:
tossing the best recollections of who was wanted to be.
Wood, coal and nuclear dreams:
Darwin of Creation, bugs trying to be believed—
what wingless birds have we become?
Meaning cannot be in a forgotten room
for a stranger.