O Penelope, sing through these lungs
so I can feel your breath in me.
if i chanted the odyssey
those are the first words
on odysseus’s lips
The letters of your name
blacken on the sky like altar smoke.
what he wished
to tell his spouse
while salt air
whipped his cheeks
We are the subjects of heliometry,
stones skipped ten impossible islands apart.
but odysseus didn’t have a phone
(and i don’t have a wife)
Two-faced Hermes, god of thresholds,
is there a limit to my loneliness?
the bay might as well be
the aegean coots bob
set ten feet apart
never again will there be
solitude like this
a house left
with nothing but one’s person
I have known nature’s feracity before.
Have you ever seen a deer skip along with an arrow in its side?
Blood spouts like nectar from a jug.
when we introduced ourselves
you named the oceans you crossed
to be in this country
i counted state lines i’d hurdle alpha beta gamma delta
to make my way home
We haul heavy bodies for miles
before collapsing on a lover’s threshold.
having never met you
i felt your wound
smart in my side
and wondered about
Will I recognize you, Penelope?
Now you appear to me as a tempest, now as a shearwater.
the letters of your name
blacken on my screen
like altar smoke
i remind myself:
you are the specters i’ve let
parcel and till
in this season of hysterical weather
The sun is our compass,
our lamp, and our torturer.
for painting patterns onto tiles
palettes like shingles
turning back the sun
we consult auspices
From every aspect,
the wine-red sea totters.
colorblind people on youtube
use special glasses to see
as most people do
the tangle of warm and cool
of book spines and cereal boxes
Behind me is a decade of violence, before me whorling
burgundy, phthalo, and ultramarine.
i am the one passing the time
reasonable it once felt
to take for granted
tatters of lettuce
bathtubs’ outrageous bubble gum
all the colors
waiting like suitors
Zeus on high,
whose chroma perfuses even the bleakest seas,
whose awful lightning anoints all crags
sooner or later,
I promise to love this world when it’s mine again.