We know the ocean will stay
awake long after.
I have begun to speak
of light as a character. Always
my hips break their bowl. Tilt:
I pour you into me as light
In the garden, chilies suck
red into their waxy hearts. Your heart,
tenacious fennel: Six years ago I loved someone
else. Nine years ago you loved
someone else. We haven’t learned
the names of the seeds.
The way memory bites us, says play, says
need. You said love was alchemy and I said hand
me the spade. I have long since stopped thinking o
f body, yours. Animal means spirit; spirit, breath.
Bend close, you can hear
the leaves animal backwards.
You be a tank girded with steel.
I will perch on your grate or
the welded navels of your bolts.
You be the hulking battle
creature and I, wispy spangled
machine, will press upon you with
the weight of brine and nectar,
the gravities that pull me up I will push
into your armor. You will tremble
as if I have turned a key, set your belts
in motion with the burning engine
inside the axle of my long body.
Some of us were cheated of war deaths.
We know how well our weapons work.
Your fingers forget. One switch unlocked.
After training. Mounting the cannon onto the tank.
Heavy enough for six on the ground.
He stood on the bed of the truck, pulled towards.
(Discharge: Someone leaves always.)
His body opened like wings.
Red thistles oxidized in the grass.
Photo of tank during Korean War courtesy U.S. Army / National Archives.