Distress

“Emotion derives from motion or the lack of motion.”
— Allwin Nikolais

Plastic baggies hang agape, razors blades at armslength.
A bare leg, a passkey, a close shave, a rake.
The sighs of our universe in suitcase and ashtray.

...In the midst of this,
chained to old neuroses
like a baby at Pandora’s breast.

Without much ado, she
wept on the terrace, in
postpartum stillness, and
he, seeing this, wept as
well (but) (only) behind
glass, in a small space
reeking of human
excressence, sex, organs
fallible as any pulley system.

...Her shoe, slipping on and
flipping off, gives him some
thing more corporeal
than pause.

Anxiety of completion.
The hand falters as it draws
to the end of the line.

...And then, slide
dropped into brain slot, fore
limb scurries off, west, a
breath gathering steam.

Past greenheaded hills, uninhabited
flats, in withering after
life at the pinpoint of the high
way where old stalled diesel
engines guard tracks gone
to wicked seed and
incessant marble eyes
peer through the spyglass of
detachment, dirt curtain over
intersection, roadsign, load
stone, long purple iris
spikes with yellow hearts,
inadvertent sculptures made
translucent by a touch of sun.

...Lovesoaked lizards, poor
ambulating godzillas, desperate
for contact, like performing
artists throng and claw.

Dealing deadly dance cards,
comparing weathered hands.
On a spit of hellfire, turning
and sweating and shedding
foul skinlike sackcloth.
Windstruck, robbed of breath, by
one great gust of powerlessness,
that telling moment when
reptilian barriers fall.

...Left alone in the night,
lizard weeping importunate
across an unfinished path.

Dearth of musement in this
movie of the mind: one weather
factor cancels another, like a
gap between reels, blank
screen left to flicker.
What end to choose, if muse be
lost, said someone
said something.

...Eating fresh fruit
compote by that wide
open window when
the rain chimes in.
A week’s accumulated murk
blowing off the skyline.
Where pipes dip into ashen air,
leave no visible scars.