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I am seen in war paints of snow and coal,
          army blues;
small hours pressed into days.

The memory is perfected, played well.
          Fall and light.
These seven years have passed right,

passed right and agonizing in lonesome.
          That is fine.
It is alright. Boys do this.

It is the undoing of these cold years,
          blank image—
I feel you were never here.

To have an end! To not begin again!
          And pass right,
long into paper and stone—

wearing a bitch’s mask and running hard
          into death!
It means nothing. Spring and dark.

Snow and coal come clean. My luxury, yes.
The broke back of faith
          will not knit, straighten—

          hell and summer; the child sulfur;
          it means nothing.


In you I search for gold and temples
whose doors were barred as the sun
          slept like owls
in the canopy
of a tireless wood.

You find in me a basket of heads
with names like Yesterday, Frostheart,
          and hunt like Ojibwa
for the beast or lonely man
who tore their spines up as string.

Man, Edged

I can not see another mountain, the sun’s lame gold.
I do not want to. The mechanism of my gravitas

has been splintered, like a clock or small skull.
I only want to sound into the streets, blitzkrieg,

with a stone or blade and ruin the storefronts, lanes;
fragment a head, loosen up palms into the homes where life

goes on each day, trip to the boneshop, and each week
extends to excess—I will not fish another river

as my father still works the Potomac’s lips. Ghost-line.
Sweet machine, I have gone too high and the sky has gone out.

I am edged—call me Julius, Mein Kamf, hydrogen, sorrow,
and what would be now? A fire, a coffin, a weathered road.

The Anonymity of a Cliff Face

Serpent, only the earth perceives your rattle in the headrows,
the paralytic August slabs, where, commonplace,
          savior sun shears the flats;
the assassin, unfolding
cotton-yellow through my cracks, daguerreotype detail—
          age abound, indistinguishable.
The natives have words
for me:

                    Mount Forgotten-Light,
                    peaks of what-was-not.

There are scars here apparent only to God, the stars;
blood in rivers that have gone off to the sea
long before legend,
          firetales of manbeasts, smoke-eaters.
The girl with the arachnid limbs, scorpion heart,
lost her mother in the pits and boneland
of my body; no body
          comes in at all;
hers has become nobody in the misted glass
          of my mouth—

                    where the rattlers kiss sand
                    and thunder is another death
                    and I am painted
                    and I am unheard.