THE PERCUSSIONIST FOR COMING
4 am and it just gets faster, world's smallest disaster
movie orchestra, a cymbal clatter battering her ribs.
Do you know what time it is, she asks, other hearts
are trying to sleep. Her sister's heart pumps its slow river
athletes' blood, her brother's heart glows white and hums, digital
locket dangling. She wants the filmstrip's lub-dub lullaby
instead she's stuck with this, muscle that wants to be mustang,
animal, auto, this stampede, this starter pistol that won't
stop. If her heart were candy it would be a barrel drop.
At work, coworkers watch her wobble, whiten, put her hands up
to her chest and they think she's the last romantic, they think
they've found the Id. Not desire, she says, think voltage,
think Niagara Falls. Ask yourself do comets swoon? But at night
she strums her ribs, traces the quiet skin that holds the noise.
It's her metronome, her own avalanche. One second loves
the next, gravity loves down so it might love her, like that.
REYKJAVIK OR PRAGUE
It's a dark beer from Brazil.
It's palm-size with a silver finish.
It's fishnet but a tasteful fishnet.
It's number one in Reykjavik or Prague.
It's called "sonnet" but it’s video
It's called "ballet" but it’s video projection.
It's titled something with a backslash.
It's a baby carriage full of press-on nails.
It's Colette of the LES.
It's Rimbaud on Avenue A.
It's Baudelaire on NPR
but it's a little Jean Genet.
It's mainstream before it's time.
It's clever but it's clever in air quotes.
It's knee-high to avant-garde.
It's hearing me use "earnest" as a slur.
It's the way I name a certain inky sky.
It's that blue of every cell phone two years back.
It's you saying, now I know the sky you mean.
It's the kind of coat they only sell in the Midwest.
It's just a field we stood in with our coats on.
It's snow on the porch roof.
It's the first time anyone has spoken in an hour.
Look at it out there, goodness gracious.