“there’s nothing wrong with love,”
with the tiger in her eye,
a resilient stone Medusa had summoned
from her breath
i’m tired of burning bridges,
it’s a crime, she thought.
it leaves no trail for travelers to take,
no way across the water,
to the grassier, greener side
her third eye’s been shut down,
she knows not how night rotates to day
and everything turns new again,
one glance she sees the world as through
a magnifying glass, sympathizing
with the worms
and the next she’s being eaten alive
in the same dirt
by stomach acid and fear
“how to do in a world like this!” and
the panic sets in
that where she walks or which bear’s bed
she stumbles sleep upon is a story
in which she has no say,
not even a madlib or a couplet
it’s the curiosity that got me
and again, she thinks of her good friend Alice
and she’d seen some shit,
watercolored rhinos as pets
and every mouth glued in a felt-fabric smile
crisp and white as a new moon
— and space was as much myth as dinosaurs,
the sky, a giant’s wallpapered decoration of
our stagnant wishes
meanwhile, fate put her on a biplane
and flew her thoughts around the world
one, then two times, then thrice
meanwhile, she sat in a rotting armchair
in a ruined cottage in the woods
with specks of triangled sun intruding
mid-morning and she realizes all at once
that she hasn’t moved an inch
In the years to come, she will be abducted by the woods
behind her house. She walks to them with her best boots on
and no weapons but a net not large enough to catch even a trout.
She walks to them without saying where she is going or when she’ll be back.
He walks outside, worried of her whereabouts. He walks to the woods
without thinking of walking anywhere else. He spots her, a doe,
taking running jumps into the lowest, thinnest branches of the trees,
then landing steady, then flying again.
He doesn’t approach her,
but yells to close the gap, “darlin, what are you doin?”
She doesn’t hear him.
He tries again, “woman, what in the hell are you doing?”
And this time, she hears him.
She doesn’t turn around, but he knows she has heard him
because suddenly her ears stand taller.
I bought that bird cage at the flea market last weekend.
I have to fill it.”
She turns to face him, her pupils deep and wide
in a shatterproof trance, toes pointed in, steady as a bull
before it rushes. His arms raise to cross his torso,
a shield for the heart.
“You can’t cage a bird,”
He said it as if those words grazed his tongue
a hundred times before.
“but you can give a bird a cage.”
He removes his hat and bows
before turning his back to the woods.
She turns her back to the house.
Each returns to what they had been doing just minutes prior.