The Topography of Sleep
fugue’s peak usage in the 1950’s
was a little bit before us, edith.
with all the things we ask
children to perform in war,
it’s no wonder its popularity.
somewhere else, we are
done dancing. we are picking
our clothes up off your living room floor
for the second time today.
one day, i’ll listen as you sing
as you avoid cutting your knees
with a razorblade
in a tub with talons on its feet.
one day i’ll tell you about the picture show
at the Brooklyn waterfront,
where summer had forgotten how to be summer
and i shared a stranger’s apple juice
spiked with vodka
and missed my flight the next day.
that’s the reason i was late
to the sock hop
and we didn’t touch cheeks that night.
this is the morning i listen
for the birds outside to speak
in a language as much there’s
as it is ours, that can leave us
just as easily. this is the morning
that very much like the moment
before the moment happens---
everything is still somewhat unexplainable.
if i had a time machine, i’d use it.
i’m no superman edith,
but you already knew that.
the radio in the corner of this place
(which does not exist) is talking
about the piles of bodies
piled atop other bodies
in trenches in a country whose dirt
our neighbor collects in mason jars
in his garage, labeled with calligraphy
sharpie on duct tape.
if i had a time machine, it would be
black with ink. it would run
on the power from the flux capacitor
in the cartilage between my ribs
where i listen better
to all the strings attached to other theories
about strings attached to christmas lights
where for better or mostly worse
out, that hasn’t been written yet.
i’ve done the division of maps and sleep over time,
forgetting to carry the zero.
everything invisible is still waiting.