for J. L. S.
I want your poems
and your people who pretend to be poems,
because at least then in our dying
we are surrounded by the proper pretenders
what if time moved the way we perceived it to
in a straight line, from left to right
and because of that I could hoard
my winnings like stacked and checkered pieces
to give you so benevolently
I want to give you everything
says the part of me that can’t stop lying
I’m preparing a corpse, you said.
It’s expensive to be alive, I repeat ad nauseum.
My laugh finds your laugh in the room, Mary
on our lunch breaks in the sun, by the fountain
we link arms and laugh about something horrific.
I’m writing poems to stave off death.
the dog racing around the corner
the hummingbird with its back to the smog
the bite-marked pencil
the swimming pool waiting for water
the freedom from fear
this little sunbeam
the bird bath tattoo.