This all happens where houses threaten
to slip into the sea, where no one crosses
on the stairs or sings at the table, where
odd scraps get socked away, a sparrow
in the freezer, nestled next to
the tequila, where the street
sweeper roars by under a strawberry moon.
No matter where, we don’t wash
for days and bonfire rises from every layer
of us. Chanting by the kindling, songs morph
into visions, into sketches on butcher paper.
Compatible zodiac signs hang out
around the picnic table hammered
from a kicked-in door. Words guard us
against unwelcome thoughts and shifty
visitors. Fragile alchemy gets a baby
to sleep, powered by a looping
articifical heart. The button flickers
violet, and we have entered
the right ventricle. Thirteen
beats before the curtain drops. Our lives shift
softly every time a new one arrives,
high beams interrupting the performance
and stalling the pendulums, the inner workings.
Small fuses, we disconnect and reconnect, willing
the charms we’ve created to catch.