till we are new, and forgetting

if lovers misplace their lovers’ names in time
if parents shrivel into pupae promptly with the church bell’s shatter
if drawers are stuffed to suffocation and finally purged to dust, to leave no room
            for the opening of eyes, or breathing
if windows take apart our visions and shield the next-door lanterns, and our
            interiors from water
if a child takes a finger across tabletops, and smothers the thunderstorms to come
            between his teeth
if brothers shrink at touch
if stuffed penguins are exorcised in the wash, and emerge smelling of detergent,
            their skin stiffer, organs solid
if beds are stripped of muscle memory
if we lose our owners
if door handles creak
if cuticles peel away to no blood
if you have dropped your scarf into the wind
if the world is silver and our feet must drag rust across its surface
we walk out into the sun and swallow light, melting again and again and again
            and again and ag

SEA

Half-submerged are dancing dots, or
limbs, sliding in a bowl with windows.
Unaware of their assignations, they are
already balancing the disc

peering out sideways towards islands.
The blade cuts the sea in white
against grain, against the blue-greens
that straighten into undulating mountains –

homes shifting, or relinquishing their
statuses. Between lands there are other
dancing dots, or limbs. They are scaling
mountains, but the peaks forget themselves

protrude as nationality instead. In the bowl
passports weigh heaviest, and without
engines, urge their holders forward.
Arriving at a denseness, there is a sense of

knowing. Two fishermen in a sampan, pulling
endlessly at a net. The weave tangles with their
fingers, we have been here before. In the distance
ships are still chopping away against the grain, towards

a child’s black marker outlines. Their edges
tremble, prodding into sky – steady breath
white as yesterday, which is only minutes
away, fog grey as the cuff of tomorrow.

pudding puddles

there is a picture of us            at three     hotel room
Perth   Perth 2003       stretching buses backwards like gum   then
tickled as they crash themselves into walls      sweet.
these buses     you said       had great suspension
so things won’t break. i start learning about
automobiles in this way. at east coast park
we fell off the bike but it was accident thing only.

there must have been a picture of hands
leaving puddles on each other, after pancakes downed and knives
teetered on their clatter and lego robots muscled down steps,
         after
finally pulling away. warm and then never again after.
children’s hands often do not remember how they had plunged into
the bowls in the first place, until they re-emerge,
drenched in butter. sometimes one hand thinks the other
a cousin, later a sister it realises it never wanted.

like other pictures of us there is a kia carnival speeding
around the Bend, OR.     high shutter speed; aperture too large.
picture of kia carnival toppling over into bleached gum,
drop of blood on paper pulling out of flosses.
the kind family in the ford behind were
mutants, surely. kia tore immediately out
of the sticky, flew into another country. when did we notice
you hanging from its boot?

there are no pictures of us walking cities before arriving again
at the origin. there are toy cars skidding between our hands
but these vehicles have spat their engines, ah beng revving.
something drifts and the ground forgets its friction. only
the hunchback grass of parking lots live to tell the story of wheels.

i amm m wa lllk iiiinn g o uut o      ff a p icttt t t t urre nno lonng errr
ddd ecip heeeerrr    aa    blle. llee e eeeegs        d r r aaa gg g   g g ing
ccccc   ollooo ouu r acrrro ssss  la s veggg as lig httts
liiike           sstttee pppi ng   oooo utt   of a aa ppuddd ding tto
ww w ww     walll k       liqq  uuor iice   ss  s  ttreeeets,
     ff  f eeet tt sttiiill hea  avv     vvy,
llle aaa viiiing puudddle esss      oof   ss weee    etttt

 

pulse

A BODY LIES IN A BED OF WATER.
IT IS AWARE OF HOW ITS BEATS ECHO
INTO ITS ENDS, FOLDS, EDGES.
THE HEART SPEAKS THE SAME DIALECT
OF BLOOD, BUT CHECKS OUT OF ITS
CERTAIN HOTELS AT ITS CERTAIN TIMES.
IT KNOWS ITSELF, NOT A PULSING BEING
BUT AN OCEAN OF SORTS, THAT ITS WAVES
ARE CRASHING ONTO DIFFERENT SHORES,
SENTENCES ENDING ON A DISPERSION OF
WORDS. IT KNOWS IT IS NOT SOLID BREATH,
DOES NOT VACILLATE BETWEEN LARGENESS
AND THE MINUTE, OR SILENCE. WHEN THE BODY
MUTES ITS PARENTHESES, WILL IT CONTINUE
ITS ECHO? DOES IT LIE LIKE THIS POEM, OR
RELEASE ITS BRACKETS? DOES ITS LAST WAVES
EXHALE OVER THE SOIL A FINAL GLOSS OF SALT,
BEFORE THERE IS NO MORE MOVEMENT? ON
WHICH WORD DOES ITS SENTENCE END?
DOES IT REMAIN DECIPHERABLE?

ff

so we’ll skirt around it, –point fingers at my lack of
skirt-wearing, your hatred of blue shirts and ships and ‘shit’s–
so she emerges only onto maps of accolade.

musical accomplishment equates to intellect and
calculated decisions. i play her music loud enough
in the living room and wait for you to ask about

the creator. soon enough it is god instead, who peels off
the cross over the tv, is sprinkled upon my honesties, adorn them
as sins. we learn the lines that part us and we learn the routes between.

she’s appropriate on scores and scholarships. in a flock,
onstage, performance. living room. easy to remember the
pavements we’ve lain between our home, and mine.

easy to remember pavements, but i’d like to walk the grass.
i see my inheritance is this muteness, not your housewarming.

bye sota

In the beginning there was the again, which then became the point
of seizure for years, breath, and memory. Six-year bouts of skimming
and then a space to file our notes. The bookends
back one another as caesura after caesura,
folders stamped with dates but smelling of colour.

Again had begun with letting fall the body
into white – dots taking walks tripping over nothings,
till our lines formed and our lines broke into new pages.
Shoes that soften; gloves that thin. When we’d finally felt
other hands the shelf was almost spilling over.

So again there will be the again. The last of this
shelf transcribes a flashcard quiz – “spondee,
anapest, dactyl”. We recognise both the diction we’ve swallowed and
the rhythms we’ve yet to move to. With each question hands
plunge into the air not to answer but to catch the next flight.

eh-istan

his finger finds the sand and forgets the slide, leaves the
shark crocodile obstacle course, the homed fears of
        catching, blindfolds,
and finds the sand. it drills and discovers
water. the nail drinks, this is
the blood he’s been looking for
            the swing no more.

his feet catch the sand and forget
to twist this time. is it the fireman’s pole
he wants? he takes it with the back of
the knee, a seduction of
childhood fears, yes – this is what he wants
i know, i have never wanted to belittle
him. if there were a fire i would
take him first, back down that pole
into the sand. provided he could not save himself.
i would hold that assumption for decades.
           it is soft when the crocodiles
catch us. we hug them to our chests.

his fingers recognise now sand as his
terrain, feet mountain biking the
permutations: how many times can
the shark poke its fingers into the holes
before it finally burns? how many
times can i run into the mirror and
still trample down the tops of slides and
tunnels? he finds his way:
finger in the sand, drilling, his
feet now spinning around this anchor to write
                Place –
no longer moated space. he sits
in the circle he has made, says
this is what is mine, i am taking it

jie jie i build my house here.
                    neh neh nee poo poo
                    you cannot catch me!

to stand, to stand and point at this
circle you have made –how it breathes, grows a playground–,
this is what i hope for you.