The winter solstice was December 21st, 2010. It had also been December 21st, 2009.
The shortest day in winter followed me around
and wouldn’t leave me alone. It made me feel
like something physically happened to me.
The snow fell, settled, formed a society
on my flesh. The flakes tried to melt the front of my shirt,
always wanting me disappearing or naked.
Every year a new one replaced its elder sibling, whispered to me
that things will be different this time around.
The winter solstice was also the moan
born whenever people heard something
that hurt their heart It came without fail
every year, existed instinctually.
My dependence, therefore, must have been
of my own accord. The beak
of the solstice always bit, kissed, seduced
or broke any old wanderer. I told it,
I believe you. The winter solstice
was the thing that could not help itself from existing,
like a baby or a sneeze that feels so good
you can not help but ask your nose for another.
I asked the shortest day in winter if it realized
how aggressive the way it touched me seemed and it said,
it’s not because of anger. It’s because of passion.
This solstice force-fed me emu feathers, dried dandelion seeds,
pigeon feathers. The pigeon feathers were the most beautiful—
like brushstrokes swimming on a canvas.
I offered it oyster shells, houseflies, dead bird
carcasses, mushrooms. It took none. It told me
it already ate lunch.
The shortest day in winter said, read me your poetry.
I felt so one-sided.
I said in return, read me the hours
you spin into melted night.
But the winter solstice shook its head. Today, I am illiterate.
I knew it was a lie. The winter solstice
was the smartest Person I knew.
My wanderlust was thin, brackish,
easily diffused. I told myself I was going to travel.
I told myself I was going to see the summer solstice.
I never got there, as the crocus belonging
to the shortest day in winter unfurled in my hand—
a piece of bitter electricity in my mouth
filling my insides like the bullets of a warm gun.
One of my arms fell in love
with my other arm. They were a perfect pair:
left dominated and right submitted. They always
wanted to touch each other. I reached for
the body of the winter solstice but the hours dissipated
before I can swallow them. The right hand slipped a ring
onto the left hand – they were making love.
The right complained, why must you always
think with your goddamn finger?
Sometimes I forgot parts
of my personality in winter.
I tried to remember. You love to touch and be touched.
Your body is in the shape of a pomegranate tree.
There is nothing else.
I just remembered another:
your voice takes the shape of an oboe.
Winter occupied the months I push away
like a shameful friend in public.
Winter slices my year/body into fourths.
I tried to fill my days with what’s left of my voice.
No matter what I did, time was always
kissing somebody on the other side
of the world. No matter what I said,
I was always one of many with heavy legs.
The winter solstice gave me hours that reminded me
of how a memory of making love can feel better than the actual act.
I woke up with what felt like
mini-corpses between my eyes.
The winter solstice stared at me,
shook its head, formed tiny tunnels with its eyes:
one entrance leading into the cold, the other
into my conscious and lack thereof.
Tomorrow the solstice erases itself
again, and it is my dead grandfather’s birthday.
There can be an anniversary for any day
that I’d like. The connubial anniversary
of my arms is also my birthday. The solstice’s birthday
is also the anniversary of the day I swore I would
only love things that hurt me.
The Blue of…
I nail glass siding on the backs
of my thighs and carry see-through suitcases full
of milky sky. Everything I own
is a window—bay, bow, casement
and burning hopper. I wanted to get some damn
ventilation around here, to sucker punch any intruder
that climbed in on a ladder with anything
but the best of intentions. To the one who told me my body was like
an island—I am not sorry.
My body is an everywhere
reflection. Clear. A window.