I spend the morning as mornings are spent
What is it to want without thought
Wash the grains of rice, scrub cheeks
Am I breathing yes
Cut up fruit on a plate
Dream of hiking down a cool mountainside alone
AQI a bruise darkening
Eat the zucchini, leftover cake
Hot wind surging through chaparral
The child excavates red earth on his screen
A diamond pick-axe a burning eye rinse
Scrub off the old day sweep crumbs all this mess
Yes it’s heavy the air
Try again to sit spills or spells
Who arranged those dead flowers for the still life
Who harvested my smeary phone hot vibrating on hip
Oil prices high the market swerves tilts recovers
Plastic mommy brain and microscopic mites
Lungs out of season, a spot of blood
Shallow breath backward into tight spine, out, out
Almost out of juice, milk
Damp towels stanch windows and doors
Drink the melting glacier water river water drying up
Swift spiral of ash downwind
Thick and raspy this breath
A little go bag by the door
I woke up, read some words on a screen inside a room. That was my life. Other things moving in the background, but the words on the screen demanded something. Money, a prayer, rage. White blouse, sweat in a trickle down the back. Every day the brush waits to burn.
I put my ear to the ground. Hand on my heart. Closed my eyes, switched on a light. I began with a color like rain. Listened for the plane scraping the sky again, the neighbor’s coarse shout. Murmurous noise of narrow street, numerous voices hovering near, humid thirst, was I an adult or a child? On the balcony watching below, pressed tight by strangers, at a streaming parade of ebullient color and shouts, sequins, time orchestrated to drumbeat rat-a-tats. The voices careened high, deeper, a lurid shriek here and there, laughter erupting, dissolved.
Who was I then, what did I know. Tiny blades of grass sticking to the shirt, streets orange with impending storm. Began another sentence. You were talking to me there. What do you remember, what did you love? Life, which is the tilting of the branch, a rustling, some color leaping. Something wanted more of me. A green skirt with silver buttons down the front, unbuttoned one by one.
In the words I read there were street-corners alive with starry drones. My mouth smears up the sounds. He would live against sentences, went the line.