The Steel spends the owl,
<<a knife fight,
a fifty-seven fired
out from the corn-
of a stranger>>
swoons, as it crashes,
spends its last sigh, swoons
suddenly so sleepsick
below the Moon,
eyes shocked and liquid
down & down
to the profligate stalks,
a last nightflight gone electric
feathers cataract, the stars turn
psychedelic the eyes
prism the light farms
With thankfulness, a scythe, a slavering maw
o mosquito mosquito mosquito, o mosquito
seen that lovers cover mouths before they kiss
to keep from swallowing more than ones pride
o desperado, o desperado—distill my beating,
distill my heart into a whiskey that you covet.
I am worth nothing until.
A thousand tears
go by, and I, ever the stranger strangle flocks
whose necks bloom with my laced fingers.
Carve lambs into boulder with smaller stone—
what sediments cake lips and sting eyelashes
that spring from pink like infants slimed new.
And the stars feed to the sun god knows what
so long as corn can be reaped at harvest time.
This raped earth, this industrious farm boy
they call Slim because each bone peek-a-boos
from under skin, because his vocab is thin,
because nicknames are all used up anyhow.
Don’t romanticize the profession, don’t gild
the fields turned brown after four fratricides.
Don’t take me alive, don’t take me for a liar.
I crack knuckles on ribs under truth’s white t—
I crack up when going gets less peachy, but
she finally kissed me, if only near the mouth,
and whatever mirror reminds me who I am
will remind me for another seven bad years.
Swoon, lake, a mere roar from the mooned eye—
knife fights, Boeing poet, and a three-sixty owl.