Church

Church of memoir

of discovery

of chants.

Cloistered in my name are ten lives

I did not live

in favor of a sublime 11th.

What is better than best?

What can joy can be discarded for ecstasy?

The taste of salt lines my mouth

when I look back.

 

 

translated to Xhosa, Afrikaans, and back

Church of Love

 

I find joy

while I lay cloistered in my ten lives.

Auroras swirl beyond my reach.

They will not live.

There is a reason I am so inordinately fond of 11.

What is better than a lot?

 

Why have I ignored peace?

 

It tasted of salt in my mouth.

Power lines guiding me back home.

 

 

Church of Love

Separate the gaiety from the joy.

Lonely in my ten lives,

they live,

it is as though they live without me.

How do I dispose of gaiety?

Of me?

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22 Pounds of Wishes

I have 22 pounds of wishes hidden among the weeping wisteria.

The flowers by the pond have been melancholy a long time.

I drink with them.

Look at Lily’s tattoos.

Kind of abstract, don’t you think?

I’ve been told some people are really into that.

But the roses and I share the best laughs because we know it is not about pattern

but all about color and that soft, sweet texture on the fingerpads.

Meanwhile the snapdragons do deep, twisted math at the waters edge

and I drop a wish in the water.

 

Drinking

This clock is orange and extravagant

like a drink I shouldn’t be drinking because it is only noon

and I have a child.

In a clock,

wild excess is forgiven.

The clock throws so many minutes in the trash,

spends forever buying contraband at every border.

My fingers have given their free will for a little love from this clock.

Burning Suburbia

Blue light is not chasing

my soul.

Shades of slate and gun metal pursue me

in a way the other women wrapped in their profiles and friends

would understand more than they want to believe.

 

Our spirits dream while we say,

How much? That’s too much.

I have to have her there by 3.

We need to get away. It is never just us.

 

In the suburbs I drive over hillock after hillock

again and again,

for bread and milk,

my fingers searching beneath my skirt for something so dirty it is clean,

so corrupt as to be pure.

The Sea Under My Hair is Hungry

Seasons of saffron,

of fairness.

Faucets of Holy water,

of an audience that never claps.

Beauty is never exotic,

Growing everywhere.

The plague is in my closet.

My shoes are conjurers,

My eyes lakes we and your father

went fishing in.

You caught tap shoes.

He caught concurrence wriggling like a worm.

I caught the cable of an elevator

And slid down into myself.

There are no lights down here.

The sea under my hair is hungry.

Dive in.

I’m watching from the bottom.

Sweet Blue West

The sweet blue west calls me.

A vision of endless land is seared into my eyes.

Why take this seasick sailor

and set her in the lovelorn Prairie

where emptiness is everything

and loneliness is nothing,

only to drop her from a thunderous cloud

in a crowded coastal city

to drown?

 

Lost Colonies

Lost colonies.

Attacking cotton balls.

The water stretching over my year.

Serendipitous discover of disease.

An island with hideous creatures of smoke.

Aggressive violins singing in a corner I can’t forget.

I have rotting songs in a heap behind the house.

Little mimes are jerking to life in the detritus.