The road from Washington is straight and hanging heavy over the Chesapeake. Stretched pregnant, ready for renovation but no trucks moan. Her route reaches the country’s edge in under 3 hours. It floats, even now, along the olive freshwater and funnels into the Atlantic. She does how they do here, afloat on a Hobie far past the break.
It’s only been three months but hot and branding are her growing feet: into each crab house stair and down a flight and up two more and down again and down one more for a joint on the back stoop with Ann and up another back to work and down one out the door and across the street and on the ocean floor and along the edges of a foam learning board. Beside the bed of a man who won’t move to Hawaii and then, finally, back home. Six hour glasses of wine. All this summer fun: He is thirty. Fishtail boards aren’t popular but he favors them anyway. The babes toss their braids at him and lap at all uniqueness. All this summer fun. Swell begins to shy.
She feels the burning palms of her arches on the spill of beer on backyard grass. Soak in. A bonfire at dusk: someone’s toddler fills up the bong water. She wraps her hand in the child’s own for a dance to the Allman Brothers because it turns out that there is nothing closer to everything than the palm of this ripe human. Unstained, she thinks, bleach on our blemishes. She can’t approach the thirty year old’s bed inside, but behind her tanned, closed lids he rubs her back tenderly and brings her to his surfing competitions. She’s still stumbling over the old song lyrics and dancing with someone else’s child curled close, a sponge on her dream.
Her dresses graze the grass and she tosses the skirts around the way all her friends do. Hanging from her scalp are static yellow locks cropped to the ribs’ ends but yes, she has a degree from Washington College. Ask about the specimens. Request a map of the xylem routes in red pen on loose-leaf. I have a degree, you will learn. She: once waif-like, a waistless line. Weeks have passed since then, and her friends stay wasted into fall, eyes wide for the waves’ revival. She knows better. It is the eighties now, their time has passed. She has hips now, has felt the moon crack inside her, crack like the coconuts that Delaware doesn’t have. A fine world, this year is; a fine entrance point for what lay waiting. Her marble eyes keep rolling. All this summer fun.
China blue cradles breast milk pool,
refill. Watch hound slinks off as I wake Wake.
Citrine reflections off morning prisms. Hour hands as stop-
light reminders as rifles as lozenges
and hopes fall far from tree to fingertip.
My first traces in ink incunabula in
a pigeon claws’ clutch.
Someday in this waking world watch
a crawl cross floorboards, fatten vases full with petunias.
There must be a million others. I must be a million others.
Here is the nail of my index
the raggedy cuticle,
topographic, manic, stagnant.
It’s a not-so-final
attempt at development,
what with the slice
of spark by spark of
leaf through the puddle’s mirroring
glaze. And nearby, the rabbits’
nails are chipped, too
and caked with hurry
and hectic, we bury
stone eyes, stripped hair.
Three hands lean
lazy on the wall,
only shifting to catch
them, me, by thumping,
craggily clawed feet
Toss us back back
to the browning grass blades.
These days the sky sprinkles down the hours and I bite, chew, swallow these seeds that roll across tongue, wedge between teeth. No one points them out to me: pepper specks against white enamel. Bat echoes in still morning air. They will not brush away until some spring. For now they split open and their roots slither down my throat, nostrils, out my ears in molasses trails. All thorn fibers seep glaze. Never did I ask for this but I swallowed that first seed. You said lavender’d bloom in my belly, stain my cheeks smoke bush. We still shovel the soil with words. Outside, the other petals wait inside themselves with a shiver. They wait to bleed out their scent. We meant Out your window I spy cardinals burn their stamp on the gunmetal. To be a burning stamp on a trigger-happy sky. My cheeks so soft. Red is just the color that the patient ones have used up.