poetry and poets

Sunday, January 02, 2005

what it feels like

what it feels like
tony gallucci

Okay. Okay. This is what a trance feels like. Standing in a scalding shower with ice cubes between your toes. Whistling sweet little tunes in moonlight. To the moon, singing sweet little tunes that never have been sweeter even though they don't mean anything. Anything at all. Except for you thinking they do. Okay. Let's say this trance is yours alone. Or let's say it belongs to your friend too. You bounce your song around lily-white in the afterglow of April dusk, bounce it around the red vinyl, the scratchy Mexican poncho not-really-a-blanket on the trunk, the dirt, mosquitoes humming along, not my idea of singing a song, trance or no trance. Let's say you don't remember anything. Let's say you don't want to, don't want me reminding you, don't live waiting for the moment when ancient history comes knocking on your dreams. Let's say you told everyone you're still in love, and the night runs away from you, solid black down a plain white tunnel, no light, and eats a hole clean through your breast, through your skin, that tightness there when licked and touched like a tongue to a battery, that flesh red liquid bleeding muscle flowing ebbing tide out of your deepness, through your sternum hard as old bread, through open internal air space nothing but room for hearts swelled flaccid swelled, beating, slapping, pulsing away, splitting silence, black, red, in the night of feeling and of wanting, and out through the stolen ribs of one million, exactly, years and generations, and seeds and ways to do this right, with force, not like some alley wimp with chains and thin moustache and bad breath and narrowed eyes. Watch us. The moon dips, a saucer white and furrowed, imperfect, the perfect tool, dips from the Rio Grande and pours its milk over us and there we drown. In June too hot, in April cool, January fine with a fire, otherwise you watch, November yes. It might take you several laughs shared with chocolate no almonds or maybe just driving ten miles on dirt past grapefruit and navels and limones and then to places only moon knows, finding those kind of places in the milklight, holes only she knows until she nudges you there, driving slow, maybe only five to ten on dirt and places the sand ate out and filled with water black with old dead horsenettle leaves and spinning black bugs you can't see except in the broad day or maybe you have to pull one old beak out of your foot if you walk in the puddle ought to know better but who minds that anyway? And the moon she says look here take a look there maybe this maybe over here until you agree on a place big, wide, covered over by forty years orchard or mesquite or thick ebony black with ball moss and lichens. Got to be careful of dripping branches, not of water wet with rain or dew or nectar sucked clean by aphids with all the noise of their young sweet lives, but for dripping of thorns and raw limb wood like sandpaper and stinging hornets and bugs that burrow under your delicateness where reminders persist for time, mostly decades, mostly reminders that love ain't love, ain't what the boys taught you or hid from you under mattresses or in old rusty boxes in backlots or between the lines in holy white bibles, mostly that love isn't choosable or buyable or pickable, or isn't made of dirt or blankets or compounds squeezed together in plastic shapes that look like love would look if love were plastic, mostly that love doesn't need trees or dirt roads or driving dirt roads or wet sand or air cold or hot or dripping with friction and fluidity and liquid like the sand between ocean and dune or flowers or smell or language, especially words said for love which are only tiny dragons wearing chains, or mostly that love is a ghost floats around your bed your kitchen your dark living room when no one comes to visit, rustles curtains, knocks over cups of nectar, smokes your secreted cigars and pipes full of wishes, brushes a cheek in the dark night, steals a laugh in the lighted night, guns a 426 hemi spoiler eight-pack glass packs in the cool concentric streetlights, whispers to you on a deathbed, maybe yours, maybe not, maybe is only a whisper not really love, maybe is a wish not a hope, maybe is a reason whatever that is when it's not an excuse, maybe visits only on those cold remembrance nights on sleepy Mexican scratch blankets or in the arms of an ebony over the Rio Grande naked with laughter and running and flying off bluffs into the silky water of darkness between two ways of thinking two ways of living two ways of dying two words spoken without the necessary third and the distance between what is real and what is right and what is okay and what you can get away with dreaming years down dark tubes of light later in the all loving moon of what you always wanted and never found because it is still lying face down in the bosom of your past.