Cemetery Shoes

after Van Morrison’s Sweet Thing

I don’t care who dies, or what my body does
breaks, aches, greys, recedes
grows perfectly wrinkled in sea breezes
I will never grow so old again

I was a phantom, I was shrinking but still I had a body
bones, I had time alone with the frame of the city
fists of keys, bags of bread, tins, canteens
I had provisions, I carried all of it with me

you remember
the dance a creature
the groom’s black back
the table rocking
the bridal brigade
her ribcage her girdle
her river bridge
tangerine face or presence

I could jam along and talk a lot
or shadowbox or lavender or wear leather
or make some strange something, write a bunch of
first lines, make billboards, shallow the sky with planes, cold
wet government, profitability, systemic, the new frontiers of
marketing, what homes will fall the next twenty years,
world-war pop, threat level: spectacular
I will never grow so old again
aneurism : cell-count :
bloodclot : stroke
fingertips, toe tips
lips and bone marrow
the animal of the tongue
performing gymnastics
chanting this guttural
this miracle

our allseeing-everseeing
orbs flashed open, irises
drawn unclenched
limbs brandished fibrous
pistols performing
ju-jitsu, cartwheels
air-traffic controlling
all of our parts, all of
a part, all fall apart

we meet, beards and breasts
we gather ahses, flowers
faces round the table
we candlelight walls
eyes and teeth tethered
shaking in our shoes
we bury our valentines
beneath plank floors
of cold dark rooms

amazed in passageways
children make sea kingdoms
bury mountains
fill spaces and
make spaces
to fill
our devices
spilled inkwells
the machines we play adults at

a shadow of your form captured
for an instant
a giant walking in the sun
crossing country

the catastrophe
language comes
bloodied in dust

the things we’ve seen
cemetery rows glowing
marching in boots