to some farm, horses’ teeth grass in a season
of no blankets strapped to bodies in mourning.
A pig scratching rib-chub on a hayloft ladder,
and there, between toes, a nugget of garlic
to sooth an itch. Your knees are on
a cracking shower mat you thought we threw away,
rolled out at the crawl space mouth
where earth is dark and rain moves it to mud.
A pipe leaks irrigant, a root
giving its younger brother a noogie,
a valve acting like it’s a dam,
a city fleet en route on some planting day.
For the area of intentional garden,
our mothers go to succulent vendors,
landscape tenders, haul surplus
amended earth to cover ground. You hide hands
under the house, where palms get enflamed
from some force task. A sprinkler goes
off in an hour near noon,
and everything it touches singed by sun.
Around the Nice Mall
each of their little hearts that beats, then beats,
and starts over again. The marine layer this early
swaddling our region the way a yawn makes a song
of abundant wind: mostly silence. It’s in that space
you invent, and reinvent the hot shower
in a light that’s never dissolved, claim it clearly
like ice water in tall glasses, and your toes
in the narrow nails of grass that barricade a park’s sprinkler
head with soaked shanks. You can hear you think
about your rituals that rumble, that peace of repetition,
dependable as a stone in the middle of sweet drupe.
Count on it, and the clicking of its bounce on concrete
down the steps, along the gutter. You can hear it long.
town is a rock’s little dance atop a toilet paper roll
a freeway shelters, arterial ramps, and faded line paint.
Fingers that make sounds also stretch
their knuckle collection, or’re tough meat mounds
of hand that rest half closed in what feels like
the safest space between palm and fist.
And gravity holds you, so reluctantly you know
you could go flying at any moment. You’re fragile
as a homemade microphone, a piezo held
to a beer can’s bottom with gum, an uncomplex system
that draws a mouth from a body, it’s soft chitter
that translates to a city that reaches up to clean mess off of us.
A deep shadow, a walking sweat, is thrown
from a car: an egg you can catch
in a sling of bandana gently torn of blanket