Saturday, October 22, 2011

strain at gnats and swallow camels


Why have you brought here,
this tambourine mouth?
To wreck the afternoon—

A peep shall awake the devil,
if he flinches.
A drop, below the eddy of his ear,
will lurch and skate
down the rings on his neck, and
the auburn chest hair.
That he will scratch in a sour rankle

Who will be responsible then?
Your tambourine mouth?


How can I promise the best of me?
Every day is a gamble.
Who I am is hinged to
everyday indiscretions of strangers:
how many mind the signal, who honks how much, if the order comes on time, how the service is…

I’ve forgotten
what it used to be like
to not mind.
My tongue slurs like wheels
moments before a collision,
the stew
only a breath away, always.
If I make any promise
it’ll have to be in another world,
for this one I go to sleep in
strains at every gnat,
makes even velvet chafe.