I saw the bones of Ohio begin to glow
Beneath a pulmonary night. With a limp hand,
Stretched up direct into darkness,
I felt the contours of the frozen wind
As my stomach rolled down into the valley.
The toes inside my shoes were growing old,
My knees increasingly soft and sticky
Like a dentist’s hand, and my chin
Remained alone, mute and vulnerable…there seemed nothing to do
But sink further into the reinforced air,
Like a messiah walking out onto an expressway.
Birds were coughing and drifting around.
One came stumbling straight into my chest
And didn’t apologize. A pine tree
Interrupted its whispering to watch me become aware|
Of the jigsaw totality of real estate. Like a piece of algae
Stuck to the face of a champion swimmer,
My mind couldn’t have been closer to the present,
My eyes couldn’t have been more focused
On the sprawl. I’m part of this luminous spittle,
I thought, and I could sense in the center of my palm
A quiver that belonged to a larger ventricle,
A piece of the breakneck American land, an organism
That drinks and sweats and experiences drama.
The proof was: nothing was required of me
Except to stare into the almost infinite twinkle,
Except, even then, I wished to do something simple.
I wished to walk over to a bench and sit down.
I wished to glide my fingers between the pages of a book
I would never read, and exchange phone calls
With my forbears, standing around in attractive wildernesses,
Holding axes and babies, as we described our lives
In silver tones, and discussed the massiveness of sleep.
And when I startled into my clothes, returning
To the electricity of the moment, the municipality par excellence,
Its bristling power load again causing the flaw of hunger
To spread its cracks through the whole of my chest,
Yes, I would look down to discover a pile of steaming food
Right there, already half way jammed into my mouth,
And Ohio, my history, my home, would glisten on my lips.