Notes Towards an Elegy
Entirely occupied. A million throats
migrate towards my ribs,
secrete syllables in my chest.
All pores and openings have acquiesced.
I’m slurring in my sleep.
The accumulation of departures,
mornings of staring down light.
Blame the bend in the trees.
Blame the abstract.
Blame my stupid dumb hands.
I’ve forgotten what silence feels like.
Tongue loosened with no protest,
my other tongue, a ceramic figurine,
presses against my teeth.
What I know is that I’m straining to name the parts,
have failed to name the parts of the poem.
The back of my hand inscribed with dates
are like the hands of a small-boned boy,
sitting under the twitching shade of a tree.
We found the stumbling bird together
and hand-fed her with white bread soaked in milk.
We had to leave her by the green shed and she did die.
You noted the delicate integrity of its fretwork.
Wait fast, ghost, you should see how the living room is
choked with living things and your mother is upstairs
sitting on your bed, nurturing scraps in the poor light.