Music on ribs
I would drink down flames for you-
dance on tenterhooks, splay myself
across like stars dripped
from God’s brush,
stretching to accommodate
the infinity of you.
Oh, to be cupbearer
to your sorrows
and vessel to your joys-
to know the crags of your face,
the cliff of your smile,
the minutiae of lines
under your eyes.
You wear an ancient face,
yet are ageless,
skin like porcelain,
irises like a peacock
proudest of God’s creations.
I break when you sing.
Linoleum lifelines across bruised loves
chattering teeth, a limp like coffins,
marrow strays and roots in dreams-
the gods of the madhouse crawl.
Stories spilled like dirty laundry.
Poppy wounds on canvas wrists
devoid of summer scents-
how harsh the breath of morning.
I dreamt I married Bear
he threw his great coat over me,
with wild medicine, that sark
felt like rains and the
musk of the woods.
Berserker’s blood mingled
with the stew of American lore
and my ancestors’ calls
rose like ghosts across the gulf.
We ran bare through lands of ice
chasing plasma and springs,
Odin One-Eye struck his staff
and lit my coat aflame.
I plunged into salmon runs,
scorched by noonday sun,
a husk of a beast,
Bear licked me clean of ash.
We were wed in terror,
in a glen bloodied red by our paws,
briars stabbed my toes as we joined
gored hands in a promise-
You are mine until the trees fall
and all that is left is a whisper
of green things and damp moss.
You are mine until the wolves come
and you run away with the lightning,
scared by the canyon of my love.
Sweet as berries I will pluck you
and lay you down on my animal skin,
ripe as nectar I will drink you
and empty you of wanting.
Sharp as claws, we will ravage
the elk in its taiga home
our hunt is the stuff of legends
led by ravens and lost souls.
Be my bride and I will give you the world,
my betrothal gift is the wild,
the vulture’s call my engagement song.
Be mine and become mother to millions.
Be mine, and the moon is yours.