Because I was afraid to sleep alone
I turned to her.
I turned to her boobs.
I turned to her food.
I turned to singing folk songs too.
In that old house
made of river stone
in that old neighborhood in
I turned to my cats too
when they’d go clickety clack on
the hardwood floors in the night
my heart would call out
and I could tell the click and the clack
of my polydactyl girl cat from
the pit and the patter of my little blue
in that old house
made of river stone.
I could call out in the southern
and they would answer me
and come lay by my side through
until the morning sun turned the air
into that phosphorescent tone
of orange and white.
The summer was soft to us
That first one there
Fifty-something days of a hundred degree
Though we laid close at night
in the cold air cooled by a window unit
cotton blankets my mother had given us
Trees lived in that place and we still held
when we went for walks in the evenings
There was something there that made us
hold hands when we went for walks in the
and the scent of sprinklers spraying water
over parched grass and warm concrete
rose to meet us
and would stay in just that one way
deep in the tissues of our brain
when we were able to love
in such conditions so far away from the
callous city in which we met
When we were able to love, God
God, when we were able to love
With you, for you, I shaped a
Trailed freckles and oceans.
Believed in your breath and doubted
your words in the shadows of
timber rafters in houses,
because you are imperfect,
mostly in the corridors of humans.
When driving in a car on a country
Fort Worth and Granbury
the Universe was born.
There, on Spring, ten years ago
you noticed we’ve seen
these worlds a million times over.
So then we become afraid to love.
Turned into man and woman.
Red rock and grasses.
Surrounded by oak trees.
Our emotions are mathematic.
Something that is for and from before.
We’ll kiss in dreams at night.
We will be unformed.
I can’t sleep when you’re on vacation.
My hands are small, smaller than they’ve
The kittens were born ten years ago behind
a modest wooden house in Fort Worth.
The cats will die someday. I’ll cry like a
I personally think the bacteria in your stomach
and anus are what’s ruined you, you know
soured you as a person,
in the midst of this lactic war.
Biologists think the big red spot on Jupiter
is fueled by lactic acid,
the lactic acid, that is, in its upper atmosphere.
I thought for a moment;
kind of like your robot stomach.
love a lot like robots driving by the White House,
reporting on domestic spying initiatives
tossing Molotov cocktails.
Your sheets are folded perfectly.
Your bed is made quiet nicely.
These are not codes, Shipley Shipwin. They are
I’ve made pilgrimages
back over the roads
we first drove
when we moved to Texas
Fort Worth and Decatur
footnotes of the West
blackbirds up high on wires
yellow horizons and dust again
but driving back across
cannot erase our moments together
so I look these landscapes
in the eye
and feel them in my heart
alone in the distance
Last week’s Reese’s Pieces
are still in the trash.
You haven’t called
and the Spring birds are arriving.
The sunshine makes the front room
a place to be ancient,
so I think of my deep fibrous feelings
I’m white-lighted with a vaporous breathing
my house of beautiful silence.
I’m proud to say
I feel very human about all this
and not like a god or deity,
a tired legend.