naked in the warm juice at the bottom of green dumpsters.

You multiply inside me until I am the consumptive must

coughed out by the bodies of global capitalism.

I must go to the edge of the hot rock

on which you died, pockets filled with dark posies

and brew tea with sacks of your offal to serve at your funeral.

I must present a glossy cardboard of your spermatozoal ghost

at the wake attended by the ghosts of the prey you killed.

I finally found you asleep, but rotting,

in a naked dream I had, trick breathing like the dead dog

on the side of the road, chest full of maggots. The cattails were so juicy

the air tasted fecal, felt alive on my tongue,

and on their heads a black veil of semi-truck smoke.

You could smell the mushrooms growing. I smelled the oil

I burned to move my trinkets of war against you.

Gauze panther, I am not brave enough to milk

my wisdom from the stone casing of the black puzzle.

Gauze panther, I tried to fuck time but it turned me feeble

not timeless. It made my reflection hard to see

in the brackish pond’s surface. Or was I staring into the encroaching night?

This unpredictable night need turns wet morning dew dripping down my nose.

I am just now learning how to wake despite the morning’s immanent heat

I can’t contend with. Despite the white ibis set to burn

in the chrome oven under my skin. What I don’t understand

is how, even here, with the big air lording endless over me,

I can be surrounded by so much messaging of

death death death death death death death (honk honk!—the unseen goose

and a gunshot call from the gray moors). The animals see my calm presence

works against them, they refuse to say a thing.

I search the dawn for a beauty that is not yours,

a gear for my churning intestine. I search the marsh

for austerity and dried cicada shells to make one unique lute,

and, sucking in a gray strip of dead air,

I play the slow run of “Adagio for Strings” on a blade of grass

with a single drunken cricket. If I bury myself

with your corpse and that song, will I die first

from a lack of oxygen or sound infection?

If I become that slit of green noise, Gauze panther,

can I wiggle my way through even the tightest knuckle of wood?

Will our souls dance out of our bodies to the beat of our necrotic eardrums?


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