Curled up in this square of a room —

my new home because I fill it

with valuable trinkets and cheap furniture

brew tea and make love

but it takes conviction.


I walk in my sleep

claw the floor boards, grasp for roots.

Let me fall like a tree,” you say.

I rub my eyes raw,

mourn broken branches.




Cracked and spent, my new love lifts me

off the floor. That table that shelf that lamp —

they are strangers, solid and angular

props in this afterlife

I am living step by step

slow motion prisoner.


He’s leading me out

my teeth crunching the gravel — no, my feet —

through the iron gate onto the street.

I’ve rounded this corner

swayed between these margins — curbs —

countless times slipping through the landscape

of my neighborhood a foreign country

grasping for sign posts and chimneys

balancing on ledges and rooftops gravity gone

time the current that bears me

as my knuckles drag along the hidden riverbed

turning stones. He carries me;

urban flotsam drifts by

and my limbs dangle and trail

among the wreck.


So this is my Ark, my Noah.




When I open my eyes I’m back

on firm ground

with the animals. I blink

at the big scowling pig

put my hand on her bristled back

feel beneath a crust of mud

her coursing blood and pounding heart.

The donkey’s felt ears

twitch, absorb my signals

and he rests his flour-dipped muzzle

in my palm. With clacking hooves

the goat locks me in a yellow stare:

irregular pupils the keyholes

of an ancient door.


They rouse me from my underwater coma

their bulky breathing shapes

in the pens of this city farm

an ode to survival.


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