On limbs of slanted light
painted with my mind’s skin color,
I step upon black braids,
oiled, drenched, worming
from last month’s orphaned mouth.
Winged with burning —
I ferry them
from my filmed eyes, wheezing.
Scalp blood in my footprints —
my buckskin pouch filling
with photographed sand.
No language but its rind
crackling in the past tense.
Tearing apart cloud names —
pierced fog commands:
douse the inferno’s ribs
with opaque forgetting;
clip dawn from the book’s dusk,
unfasten the song’s empty auditorium
over a garden of mute foals.
Tearing apart fog names —
pierced cloud sings:
let them shriek from their hinges,
let them slice their gills open
with flint knives
and circle their ghosts
as frog-skinned antelope,
let them drag their legs over a trail
anchored to a ladder
that has soaked up blood
since land began crawling out of anthills.
Slipping into free fall,
we drip-pattern: the somewhere parts,
our shoulders dissolving
in somewhere mud.
The arcing sun whistles
across the mask’s abalone brow,
its blurring pouts into a forest
chirping from a lake’s bite marks
stamped vertically on this map’s windowsill.
Kneeling our thoughts on ellipses
evaporating from ollas of fragrant wet clay —
we saddle the drowning’s slippery rim.