I’ve been walking through red forests
where desperate winds blow
against my every step,
trying to force me off the path.
The moons float far above the trees
and the night weighs on my shoulders.
The trees begin to crumble right before my very eyes
and the moons don’t say a word, too far away, too high.
The night keeps pressing on my shoulders.
The trees keep crumbling to the ground.
Why do I care about the moons so high?
Why should I care about a moon-soaked sky
when I’m standing on loose soil
in the shadows of red trees
that shroud me from light mystery?
I’m thinking how the stars that you have stolen
for your eyes, your mouth, your smile
no longer work to give you face
but have begun to melt you in your place.
Yes, I’m still standing here
in the shadows of red trees;
in the white-hot glow of your night eyes
dreaming how this comes to be.
I should have asked you home with me
So bold of me, “come home with me”
Where we would’ve done just what we’d do
(And we’d do them well, those things we’d do)
Instead, I dream of you now in verse
And write my heartbeat next to yours
In these lines, I render false memories
Of kissing up and down your neck
And singing soft songs of sweet abandon
These are open and imagined spaces
Shhhh, don’t tell me anything
I don’t want to hear anything
about anything at all
Just put your hand in mine
And never ever go away
Please, never ever go away
In April 1997,
I was five hundred
and twenty-four years old,
writing for an international
men’s underwear magazine,
how to weave
underwear like those
I was writing about.
I wove filamentic underwear
of spider silk dyed
a glow-in-the-dark neon pink.
There were no other
underwear journalists like me.
When I met the man
with the big, black hat
he said, “I saw
that you were trying to sell
of vanilla ice cream.
I do not think this
is such a smart design."
He told me that he was
a major underwear investor
and worked with designers
from all over the world,
and that he and I
had to go out and talk.
In the meantime,
kept coming to me:
underwear made from whale songs,
underwear made from unicorn spittle,
underwear expressed in seven dimensions…
I was trying to bring close to our bodies that which we often miss about the nature of reality…
Then, in a flash,
it all came crashing down.
I had no more ideas
about how to make underwear.
being able to write about underwear.
I got a job in a call center, helping people troubleshoot
their malfunctioning, robotic lovers.
I tracked down the man in the big, black hat.
I found him running a logistics company out of Boise, Idaho and called him.
I asked if he ever thought about his underwearing days.
He sighed and said of course.
He was an underwear man for life.
He said he probably thought I was, too.
When I was your voice,
I never hesitated
to tell you what was wrong.
You could not deny the songs
containing all there was to say,
all the things that you must do
even if you didn’t want to.
I was a dreamer and a liar.
You can’t forget the words
I spoke into your eyes.
I was a liar and a seer,
yet you heard honest prophecy.
Even now, you hear those melodies.
That’s why we’ll never ever end.
That’s how I’ll be always with you.
When you say – oh please say –
a little morning prayer
you’ll hear those simple songs again.
You’ll tongue-tie our hands together
and we’ll sing and pray those songs again;
those sacred, scary songs again.