these are the tender, cool things

“It is in un-surveyed spaces that resistance can grow.”
                                                                                          -Sue Sinclair

The streets in revision, sad and backtracking
too much dust from the eastern winds
we are not cement anymore we are not asphalt anymore we are
bound by the cohesion of religion, dust that is
deserted of sand, that is monumental in its indiscretion to lay arms: we cannot be
streets anymore, we are hardly roads at all.


The rust begins to corrode as soon as the first,
that once slumbering child, taken with brightness, curves the brow
seeking but not yet seeing, not yet steel, still
plush, like bladed grass hot in the summer cutting
the lines of feet bending to cushion soft blow for soft step;
we land where we land and the canyon is black
when I speak, you are inspecting the further peaks, the white molars the mountains
for your tongue to tongue, the clouds of breath, the subtleness of rust eating at roots.


I clump words chew dirt you disgust the first fist I give you and then you
dump it turn it over and give it back. This is not
what dirt wanted, this is not desire, this is
iron, this is mineral, this is human boned between the teeth, this is
the sunset as spear, thrown in the last shreds of desperation. We have
every instinct to stay alive.


The trees are growing behind our backs. They are throwing seeds to the wind and they are ploughing concrete while we are building skyscrapers and they are laughing dusty-leafed laughs chuckling about heaven chuckling about fallen apples saying to one another there She goes there goes Eden; and we are laughing we are melting steel we are laughing saying to one another, there goes the factory there goes the car there goes the road; and the trees are ploughing concrete with a tender, slow hand, the pressing of palm to forehead of cool to cheek, they are taking a long sip, they are milking the soil for all its got, they are keeping stores, fossils, carbon, letting go of oxygen, returning what is not needed but keeping track, a long list limbed through bark and route, passed down for centuries, an aboriginal secret, the ongoing garden, the collection of bones.


And like the first tendril of spring, a ghost
I could in my palm
there you a whisper of bones I in keeping
with the theory, there pulling out hair by hair
the thin threads of day; gold, you say, does not
belong here; and the sky quakes; and
the earth shudders; and the cracking of concrete
to root is audible but not tangible
I shoot up and you fall down: these are the boulders
of roots we bear.


“There is always a shadow to slip through.”

                                                                     -Sina Queyras




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