I can’t imagine myself
swimming. I can’t imagine myself
“having a good time” at the beach.
the way people sway their hips and their words—
god, I fear you’ve
licked my back and the saliva will never dry.
you’ve pressed your thumb on my eye
socket—all I can see are bruises.
I met a silent
man, a poem of solid brick.
his sister could hear her
voice paint-crack on
him, her hair on his shoulder.
O, I fear
you are a humid god.
swallows—the ones that make
clay enclosures and their shiz never dries—built their nest
on my chest, that stuck through a wall-hole.
I confess, after the eggs hatched, I slowly
stepped away from that wall.
father, felt a womb for a change.
god, I’ve seen
the wet sky swell with
green, heard my mother yell
get inside. later I ran
back outside, looked at
the tornado and said, “god,
if you’re in there, I am scared of you.”
so, lord, I’ve been
mapping bodies of water along my street
seeing the faces of moses, elias, jeremiah and job
letting my children play with prophet faces in the gutter
bathing only from rain-filled, grandma-filled, ornithologist-filled birdbaths
and then, finally, imagining myself
rushing the waves of the ocean
breaking my back against the motion
saying “damn you! damn you, jesus!”
fearing that you can’t hear my anger, lord,
that you only hear my happy prayers
that you won’t let me burst upon you.