to 5

    on the 5ives



How cautiously the fans, this air
still dangerous, wiping out all traces
—the room cools and my ears

slowly at first —the engines
sound smaller, beginning to heat
—the gloves stinking from cracks

and dry blood —this air
—you've seen it done before, don't
get me nervous —closer, I can tell

one blade is gaining on the others
needs adjustment, a knob somehow
—this air wants to come back

is gaining momentum, grinding down
and the room smaller, my arms
smaller, almost forgotten —you've seen it

a hundred times, a fan in each hand
held out —just off my left arm
all those wires go on burning —to my right

the wall doesn't care —the room
cold now, cleared for weather reports
and headings —this air still lost
picking up speed, any minute now
breaking the paint and door.


It must be new here
still damp, its moss
bristling —the nurse

says wear a gown
and from the cold
a stone pulls loose

not yet accused, its heart
already soaked, smells
from some sea

not named yet
—just born
who never again in my arms

a breathing
so filled with tears
—I could have named my arms

Benjamin —I fake a name
call these clouds Clouds
name this new stone Benjamin

and I am never without a child
holding my hand
surrounded by darkness and ice.


This ditch no matter how haggard
won't reach the sea —it does no good
on my knees —sift

as if the sun would sink to the bottom
come to rest near stones
crying to go home —it's useless

to lift my hand again, show me
the river it found, thinks it's gold and warm
and throw each stone back before it dies.

It does no good to stand —the water
will leave without me, the stones
say something about how the sea

is close or can't be seen from the air
—they've been convinced by this mud —I can hear
how stones cringe. And close their eyes.