Today's poem is by Faye Kicknosway

For R. Zamora Linmark

Created he a finch
without eyes, without

Created he thread
and suspect appearance.

Created he chalk board
and egg and paradox.

Created he mirror
and worry.

Created he abstract levels
of appreciation,
and a nomadic tent
in which to ponder them.

Created he a flight
of small girls across
a leafless landscape, a nest

that housed a plate,
and seven cages
in natural movement
toward their captives.

Created he wonder
and china cups teetering
between phrases.

Created he eyebrows
and they enlivened
his face.

Created he sweat, stacked
like firewood
in the corner
of a porch, and shoes

let out of a back door,
tied together by breath
that leaned down
above them.

Created he fire, weeping
from its one good eye.

Created he topiary
and breathless

Created he descend
and make hungry.

Created he vowels
and a woman with a mustache,
fanning herself.

Created he accommodate
and trellis and the silk
cloth on a thief's back.

Created he paint-yourself-
out-of-this-one and down-
shifting and see-you-in

Created he tablecloths
and with a little shake,

Created he dead practices
and the shelves
to store them on,
and headlights—first one
foot, then the other foot.

Created he intention
and ate it as bread.

Created he particle theory
and dropped it as bloat
through the roof
of a maiden aunt's house,

and to her lap, her knitting
fingers, and to her belly,
where her body pooled
above her thighs,

and through them to her legs,
to her flat feet
tipping back and forth, and to

the floor beneath her;
and travelers came;
and their elbows
were weapons.

Created he tunnel
and jump and stammering.

Created he divide
and wipe clean.

Created he ladder
and the breath of
a ladder.

Created he scissors
attempting shipwreck,
and pedestrian traffic
disguised as glass combs.

Created he vigilance
and it paralyzed his tongue,
and every town he was in
turned off its neon,

and there were vans parked
where there should have
been lawn mowers, and

inside every one of them,
women, head to toe polyester,
re-wrote his fingerprints.

He could have suffocated.
Binoculars watched him.
He could have starved.

But continents formed,
and consensus, and lesser crimes.
And they could have been cannibals.

Created he patience—
that thief—and a shoelace
and its equivalent properties.

Created he minute spirals of
hair, and entrails,
and despondency, and nothing
meant to do anyone
any good.

Created he opinion
and stood it on a chair
and draped it in soot.

Created he "His mother's family—";
                  "It was very public—";
                  "It was all her fault—";
                  "So very unfair—";
                  "And in front of everyone—";
                  "Puberty; who can escape it—"
                  "He fed her donuts behind the door."

Created he to pursue, to cast
about, to be alone, to mean
exactly, to be left hanging,
to eye, to abandon.

Created he a beautiful
foreground, and set it
on fire, and a famous female
pianist, and set her on fire,
and continuity, that too.

Created he an ominous mouth,
filled with dog legs
and metric feet.

Created he a garter,
and an airplane
flew through it.

Created he fruitflies
and gnats, and spread
newspaper under a window,

and they lit down on it,
and in their wings,
and on their legs was a yellow

powder, thicker than the pollen
bees carry, and it was wet,
and had black tar elbows,

and he watched it,
and it shaded its eyes,
and watched him.

Created he the pleat at
either corner of the lip,
to lean against,
to look down from.

Created he sorrow—
why? as a substitute
for salt. Then he wrote

the book and the screenplay,
and passion stole all
his clothes because it was
Rita Hayworth, and he was so

pretty; what could he do?
He wrote that book too, and
the screenplay, and became
a moving target, especially
when he sat still.

Created he the third day,
and its photograph
was impounded, pilfered,
accidentally hidden

in the bag of an unwary
tourist who died enroute,
and was thrown in the ocean,
and washed up on a beach in L.A.,

and a helicopter landed,
and the fourth level
of the CDC climbed out.

Created he the fourth
day, and it was mostly branches.

The fifth was a crotch
that only knew monologue.

The sixth said, "Blame
cannot be stolen,
but must be earned."

The seventh said, "Truth
has a crooked spine."

The eighth had map-like
appendages escaping
its lips, and he said,
"I am not this"; he said,
"This is not me."

Created he laughter
within his coat
and a darling beneath
his sheet, and they supped

and slept, and she
was his chosen one, and it
was the ninth day,
and he rested.

Copyright © 2003 Faye Kicknosway All rights reserved
from Mixed Plate
Wesleyan University Press
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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