Nights in the Wonder Valley

Monday, July 15, 2019
Honeysuckle offers its bedroom
for bad choices. Rain swallows ache.
We lean against the wind, not touching. 
This song is missing a tooth, fugitives
on back roads. Is she shredding the cello? 
Music on the radio, radiant as a 40-watt bulb. 
I stare at your face all evening. Firelight
collects in the crater below your eye
as I trade my wonder for a mouthful of air. 
If I shiver, then the moon shivers.
If I whisper, then the moon listens.
If I quiver, the moon is no more.
Every answer is given back: five hours 
of heavy rain, the clock without hands,
and the sound of the river, flooding over. 
Heat lightning, we cower under 
the junipers. You tell me a secret that floats
and stings the mind I left across the field.
Like a child       forgive-me-not
Use an X        to mark the spot
Where I slept tonight       I forgot
Sweat dissolves in the river
and every flood given is a gift
in this July, where we are howling and alive.
After midnight, I’m in danger. Done wrong
doing wrong. Honeysuckle hangs 
heady in the air, desire uncontrollable.   
Scared of the thrill, I open my jacket
to the chill. Shameless laughter
astonishes my lips in the cold water.  
Brand me with your mouth—your teeth
leave little moons on my neck. Oh shiver.
Oh shadow. Touch me without your hands. 
Delirious, I tremble. The radio
never stops playing its low whirring. 
The clock breaks across the floor.
The way you laugh makes me laugh
Blood rushing down          tight squeeze
cool breeze      now you've got the chills
Kill a silverfish with bare hands. Drink out
of an ice-cold glass. Snap a bed straight in half. 
Throw a party. Whip the table into laughter.    
Hidden in every night: memory of hands
that wait in the gloom, sharpen
knives, create the shape of shadows.
No dreams of teeth. No dreams of maps
or homes. No dreams of hands caught
at the throat. No dreams of naked swims.
Accidents happen. Your tongue traces the wet acre,
wild bees. Does California exist only in dreams
Secrets drift through poppy fields.
The nightingale won’t stop singing.
The mouth of the river won’t close.
Each evening, the wind overlooks us.
This night, like every night before or after,
we each are alone. I unmute myself,
laugh in the dark valley. 
Monday, July 15, 2019