[these two poems combined to be the earliest draft of everything was very calm]
i didn’t feel like making lunch because
there wasn’t any food in the fridge.
i walked down to broad street and then
i took that up to mcdonald’s
where i stood in line for a very long time
and in my head
a great speckled bird descended
from the clouds and swallowed everyone there whole
shrines were be built on the corner
and everyone stood around
like a fire drill.
i felt an overwhelming urge to sit down
but i didn’t. i felt decisive. i took a bite
of my burger, and it tasted exactly
the way i needed it to.
if i was a detective i could get to the bottom of things
if i was a gunslinger i could shoot you between the eyes
if i was more efficient this wouldn’t be a problem
i thought about all of this as i cleaned the kitchen floor the other day
and then i didn’t think about anything
except how i’d managed to clean the kitchen floor.
please leave the lights on
i stayed down on the ground and let them all have my neck
and in the morning something had changed.
categorically, there is something about ghosts
that i cannot understand.
imagine death as a skeleton on a skeleton horse.
now picture that skeleton riding the skeleton of an automobile,
or some type of dirt bike.
i thought about that last night
and then i dreamed about a man named walt, with a peg leg
and a pea coat
standing on a pier and watching as the delaware parted
in such a way that he could never cross it ever again.
he watched as a great big clipper ship
carried something very important to him
very far away. the look in his eyes
made me think of the way a lighthouse must look to a sailor
intent on synchronized shipwrecks.
send me the money you owe me
the tv was on. she watched a show about crows that took your bad dreams
and ate them from your fingers. these dreams were rooted
in fears and your childhood and the ground.
come back it’s starting she said over the phone and waited.
i could picture the way it would feel
with someone else on the couch.
she said hurry. i did. i saw several pigeons land
in the parking lot. their form was perfect.
it was like an instructional video.
all of our problems will be eaten by crows i said.
she said that was close but not quite it but that i almost had it.
i pulled out my six guns and fired one into a lake
and i killed a fish and i took it out and i held it
and it nibbled on my finger a little. sort of.
certain bodies of water
do you believe in ghosts she asked me.
i said you mean with sheets?
she said no. she said not with sheets.
she said she believes in ghosts.
in something involving physics
and a need to hold on. she said she believes
she would like a glass of water.
i tell her i would bring her the ocean to drink.
she said the ocean is salt water.
she said i just want a glass of regular water.
i thought about catfish
and the mississippi delta
where i have never been.