This Music Fills Us Belly Up

Like a magician pulling doves from thin air

I am pulling pieces of myself that grew too big

I keep them in cages made all of doors

Taught them how to pick locks in case I ever go mad

Some of them go on long trips and I don’t hear their way of talking for a while

Every now and then they come back

All they can talk about is soft hair and bicycle bells

And how, even in winter, they like to leave the windows open

So they don’t miss anything.

The other night I lay flat on the grass outside my house

The night sky was purple-orange

Nothing could rhyme with it

Nothing

It lay there with us, me and the ghosts, circled itself completely

We danced on sofas

Agreed they were the best place to be

As everything in the room breathed and was alive

If only for a moment

Our laughter made us children again

As we dared our feet to fail us and let us fall to the floor

To see if anything would catch us

In this unbridled joy

I grew and understood as I lay my feet to rest against the open window

When the pieces of me return I will tell them of how talking became just another thing to be done

I curled myself tight into my knees

My knees they were two way radios to something

someone

Whispering songs while I slept

The cages all opened and empty

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Digging Days

The pen you gave me grew into a spade

We dug for dinosaurs in the hills all afternoon

Our sweat was silver, mercury, angel love

All we found were gold coins and swords

They both shone pretty

We bent the blades over our knees and threw them into the river

But that night, as we slept, they came back

Their handles covered in mud

They came in through the window and didn’t make a single sound

When we woke up we found them

Piled high above the door

They trapped us in that room

You climbed out of the window

Used a rope made of bedsheets tied end to end

Like the movies taught us

I took the gold coins and bought my freedom

We met again in a cave made of lightbulbs and microphone wire

You spoke poems into the walls and the bulbs would light up

Undressing their glass and burning bright

We were a burning house

Neither of us moved

But the swords, they found us again

This time we gave them words

Told them stories about what mountains look like from space

And how some music tastes like fresh tomatoes

They fell asleep and the bulbs melted their steel into a river

The river it ran right down the middle of the cave

And each time we crossed it

A little piece of us shone brighter.