Chloroplasts

I’ll remember where I was planted.

Damp and shaped like a misplaced kidney,

snaking up the chain link fence like an old friend

that could manipulate, seduce, swallow whole

and mimic the weaving sunlight. The remnants

of dewy sinew are strewn about like parmesan

leaves and my guts remind you of spaghetti – suddenly,

you fear yourself after innards appear tantalizing.

Go ahead. Take the bite – replace your teeth

with those Budweiser shards smashed on the curb

that seem to distracting you from our lovely meal.

Don’t worry – if my organs mirror sugar in the light

and pump out Italian herbs instead of hormones,

then I could be considered a plant-based diet.

Your doctor will love you. The soil is hungry.

 

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Arctic

There was a blue man outside my room today.

He prowled the rooftops with shovels for limbs

and an excess of tombstones strapped to his chest.

He frowned at my window with gelatinous dimples.

Had lost his features as though they melted off his face.

In response, I pasted giant googly eyes to his forehead

and hid the crinkled receipt from his new gaze

as one would a proper gift. Asked him how he felt.

Suddenly, he was more green. Cerulean, as if he

had swirled a bit of the cosmos in his molded flesh.

 

He told me he wanted to plant a forest tonight.

His saplings were strewn out to dry in a damp prism

of emerald. Wondered if he could tuck into

their asthmatic shadows like patchwork

of laughing darkness. Already removed his eyes

so they couldn’t show him the dawning world

as the sun blew away his warmth from their stems.

He’d wanted to hide, he said. I’d thought otherwise.

 

I wove cornea from the psalms of mourning doves

and hooked them into the rumbling, convex plastic

coating his new vision. He was a sickly gold, now,

splayed on the glass like a star before a black hole.

Said he knew I’d kill him today. Suck the evening

sky out of his skull like unnecessary trephination.

You all do. Doesn’t matter, I’d decided. He would die

 

without the lobotomy, anyway. Well, something of him

would. I chiseled his lunar name into another tombstone

and placed it in his stretched knapsack. Plunged the pick

beneath his jittery pupils and began our work.

Watched the world spill greedily out of him. His chest

concave. We’re always devoured by stars, regardless. 

Felt his head go cold as the ground turned orange.

 

 

License

When they requested fingerprints,

you pressed down the mesh smile

of an unplugged speaker where dust

has long replaced the orchestras.

There’s an OtterBox instead of a skeleton,

says the signature. Do you need AAA?

answers the donor check. Measurements

as black holes of ink. Anything to claim yourself

a galaxy, a droid, or just a simple machine,

instead of a warbled voice going nowhere.

 

Uses for Sand

You had never tasted the ocean,

letting the waves flay open your youth

and settle their scales inside taste buds

like little eggs – weaving saline discovery

 

into a granular pelt. I used this moment

to explain the writing process as volcanic

islands – breaching humpbacks –

an archipelago of keys and letters.

 

I meant to imply it was deliberate and, eventually, cold.

Calculated. Gelatinous. To you, however,

I’m just slow and warm,

 

a pulsating earth passing the time on lukewarm sludge

until I’m molded into something a bit more divine

and the universe, frozen and misshapen, lets me hibernate

 

once more beneath the mantle.

Cricket

What are the symptoms of wanting

outlets to melt in your hand, stick

to your cheeks with cheap licorice?

 

I console my batteries like dying

crickets. Wait for that leg to sputter,

the mic in its thighs to gain power.

 

Pure water isn’t very conductive.

I dare you to drink from wetlands

that don’t transform your feet to rubber.

 

The electric tongue, stilled in new tar.

Lily pink lingers on your fingers, misty

on the matter if it was Advil or candy.

 

It’s not about healing anymore

but liquefying your spine into

rivers brimmed with biomass.

Equinox

One hemisphere

is a coppery heat

when each carnival

syllable festers in

organoid labyrinths.

Burrows. Pops up

its polyester tents

 

like scarlet groundhogs

shedding hunters

with the seasons:

animal lungs balloon

in their pockets, emptied

of iron. How rich

 

is your soil—

your blood—

that boils its few coins

to the autumnal stutters

of clanking hearts

and gunmetal tongues.

Unsavory Harvests

Spice is seined from frowning earth

into loaves of flavor and celebration.

 

Microscopic abandon

is grated from dermis.

 

Sap has hardened. Cinnamon bark

yips wakened morsels down edges

 

of my geometric shadows:

rot, you unshapely ellipses.

 

Our roots expanded. They chipped

the fruit bowls. Medicate on ginger.

 

Our processes are wintry.

We’ll ripen out of season.

 

We solidify. Crumble. They tasted

so stale. We peel so softly. Shame.