MY LIFE AS A NIGHTJAR
born a squat goat-
the art of lying low-
Sing your churr
into the heath
of my ear,
into my moth-mouth.
Feed me dusk.
of your feather
I am suited for.
As everything tumbles
and smaller things,
your whip-poor-will torpor
My heart is already tumbling
I am already
I am already
nearly not here.
Heat unrolls its dog tongue across us
like paint. Like panting.
Like the way we’re trying to breathe
in this solder-air that fuses us
chest to chest so that our lungs make
a four-winged bird’s four pink wings,
which flutter as we take turns
breathing. We gasp in fields
of sawgrass and asters. We gasp
in riverbeds and the beds of trucks.
There is so not enough that our sight
dies in patches—a star shape dies from
my right eye, a pyramid from your left.
Slowly these bite the fields into crumbs
of constellations—the stray dog,
the broken-winged bird, the torn sail—
whose myths are bad-starred and blighted
as we are. We reach around each other’s bodies
to feel the feathers, the mange, the sailcloth.
We reach past the dark’s teeth and it bites
our fingers off and our hands get lost
in the soft of its throat. Our elbows
catch in its gullet. Shoulder by shoulder
we tumble into a new, brightest heat.
THE ROAD IS A WHIP
Is a cotton-mouthed hiss.
like burlap as
you drag your face along it. Feels
like skin. Fills
friction. The sky is
a hole. The sky is
an infinite mouth dragging its gasp across
you. At night, this
you stare into its throat,
of your hair
patterned with tar,
the sky crumbling
into your mouth like dirt, onto your tongue
like a song,
which sings: wring
my wrists with Black-Eyed Susan vine,
ivy. Dust me with dusk, then
dust me with snow, then
the bones of my face, already frozen
a wink: one