to 5

    on the 5ives




wedding dresses for the homeless. doll clothes for the hungry.
we're stacking ottomans beneath a bridge to simulate an attic
without a house, stimulate the shadows of ambient parents
where a cars backfire sounds like my first dog

or a mist banquet, since we're not allowed the rain,
numbering the boxes for my spare parts
where wiggly names of squid ink staples call forth
an amulet of alien horses begin to tango against a red light
flickering its calloused tail, a fractional lariat
pouring money onto a scab
as the seed of an exhale ends with the shadow of love
unable to find the door back to earth

saving ice like diamonds; sitting on bottles til they sag
with my confessions, buttery beneath all i cant let go of
til im no longer what keys open the solid red wall of a giants
breaks open my throat like a lottery ticket i cant stop scratching,
ooze   i forgot
 fluttering metal aroma through hardwood floor & bed
sheeted with inconsolable guitars—
i keep hitting strings & things til my fingers multiply with sudden fur

if my shoulders could slink;
if no buildings were too close for me to not go between—
a corn oil shadow; a titanium bird
who does not believe in gravity     wind     or food

these are how the bricks become my babies, hugged til their rubble
is the color i was born to flaunt, turning dust bowls on a lazy lathe of
abandoned condiments
where the ghosts of tomatoes, the guilt of over-produced seeds rubbing
their husks like waltzes
                              as a jet cracks the river
                                        as a policeman unholsters his banjo
& commands me to hold up the sky
          with what?

i crave yeast but cant figure where to put it
testing error, tasting a red cat smoke. spilling above dark liqueur,
my mask of radiant energy transforming my bones into fossils
moving backwards from the future to a map of flesh
displayed on a planet we walked past for years:

clouds this huge & luminous shouldn't be so close to earth,
baring their corrosive disdain for the solid.



down by the river

dan raphael