16 March 2009

Tend to it. To Nothing. Tend.

"You have been concerned about this vine, though you did not tend it or make it grow."
--Jonah 4:10

What does my mouth taste like forming “worth”?

I want to be moved by you.

Between so many things. God.

Maybe, love, maybe, I’m unkind to things, too rough, light barbs, stuck, stuck, stuck.

I ignore. The light across my back. The bathroom fills fireflies. It does.

No, something's undone.

He laughed, surely, when I said the sky was my cousin. When the pine trees tickle my mind.

The mountains curve into me.

My fingernails broke against the stone.

Breathe, you said. Breathe.

Drink this. (hands me fireflies)

Make a mud-fist, you said. Break open weeds.

Pull on the fences until the horses call on you.

Until someone’s kinder words spit grains or pebbles into your ear.

See, in me a movement.

This is why I do not go to bars anymore.

A man once asked me if I believed in Purgatory.

You’re from Texas, he said. You must know this. Or kiss me.

My fingernails broke against the stone.

I said, When you sleep, your eyes roll back, don’t they?

This is why I don’t go to bars.

He said, One day, I’ll see you standing in a tree, looking lost.

Yes, I said, yes. This is how the sun comes down, how my days ends.

Speak, or I will not sleep. Or I will, but I’ll wish I died.

He sends you a vine, to cradle your head. When all else fails, tend to it.

Tend to it. Tend to it. Tend to it.

Or break your fingernails against a stone. Go to bars. Men will question about Purgatory.

Don’t you know? This was my old skin. Full, a wine-case.

Don’t you want to be a flame? He asked.

No. A raging fire.

Fireflies in the bathroom. That kind of softness. The kind God leans toward.

The kind that inspires. Worth something.

In me a movement!

No, no. Make a mud-fist.

Between so many things, breathe.

Does this mean it’s ten to one? Are you leaning toward me?

Is Purgatory this glass of wine?

Fireflies. Skin. The silence of wind. A row of pine.

Among the smaller things, agony.

Agony was a beautiful woman, I said.

Agony had shadows, like you. Like a list. Like stone. Her fingernails broke.

Eyes rolled back when she slept. When love was a kind of mud-fist.

So break it. Break and tend. Lean down.

Between worth and the bar. You’re inspiring the masses.

What’s wrong with breathing me a pine, a long silence, something across my back?

Break open weeds. Listen. Fires eat acres. Flies burn their bellies.

Tend to nothing. Skin.

Tend to it. To nothing. Tend.

Do you want to be a flame? He asked.

No. A raging fire. But first, ask me about Purgatory. Or barbs. Or worth. God, love, isn’t broken.

Well, first of all, Agony was a beautiful woman. She made mud-fists and broke things across her back.

worth, Agony said, was nothing in the end.

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