‘we replaced the universe with many tiny things’ and other poems
a manual for all of your collisions
nearly everything is replaceable
early on, when the world is large & you
are small. but still.
you will lose everyone you love;
one by one each will leave you.
the world will shrink. little things.
old books. tea sets. trash bags. bigger:
your gardener may fly off, up into the sky
or tremble violently across the horizon.
your family will make its own unique silence
& topple through the ground.
sad as they are, these things are
& they are bound to happen.
fate or whatever
will leave no trace.
but you can imagine them back,
into your sleep, early some nights.
besides. there are more gardeners,
if that’s what you’re looking for.
& a family is something you construct;
it changes size capriciously.
look: the shoreline’s awash in new dogs and trash.
things vanish. people
vanish. it’s ok.
please, stop avoiding loss.
rush into it. b/c, & please
remember, all at once & eventually:
you will leave them, too.
this is all living is.
why should you ever have expected
we replaced the universe with many tiny things
you push your life in front of you & it is marvelous.
cat’s eyes & lawn rollers.
the unmatched couches & broken chairs
& the abandoned apartments you shared w/
strangers & lovers & friends & cute animals.
shattered glass & fresh candies.
a life is a way of saying:
forgets you, & keeps going.
& so does the world around you b/c
you are the center of existence
& you move.
bags of hamburgers. stacks of hamburgers.
rolls & rolls & rolls of yarn.
if all you want is more,
you will devour the stars.
& all of your hungers
will stalk the vaulted corridors of your body.
to learn to love the small things of the world
is difficult. but if all you want is more,
you’ll roll around in the darkness
with this sad promise: whatever you have,
it will never be enough.
my, earth really is full of things
i want you to make a star out of cold things.
out of Our memories of unknown loves (you would
know what they are). out of unheard
shouts of grief. out whatever awful it is that sings
the sweetsharp in the empty sea of spring.
make a star out of the stars. of the pains: absurd
and plain but all as they are (my heart stirred
like an old body prodded with a stick); connecting
one distance to another to make some
sense out of the leviathan night. constellate
the miniature into myth. seconds to minutes.
little time to big time. hours to millenia.
it’s undoing itself ; there’s only so much left.
now is a star. make Us a wish from out of it.
my father got drunk and wrecked the sky
& afterwards i replaced it. but we went on vacation & He wrecked the sky again. sometimes when He snores suns cinder down to their cores. He treats everything as if it were a chore: We want you to We want you to We want you to flying in every direction. His voice is discord. when He speaks i pull words out of the static & tap my finger. disappointed, He throws pool balls at me. knocks me down because i am so small & He was once like me. it’s too easy to hate what you see of yourself in others & in me He sees himself. He learned through pain; it’s all He knows to teach. love as the violence that strips the weak of their weaknesses. or kills them. all it taught me was pity. poor, those boundless with strength. poor father; poor grandfather; & even poorer the ones they wanted close. but i’m weak & so i love. I love my enormous weaknesses & i love Him & i love the countless new skies & the world & all that fills it. i love that even at its grandest, it won’t last. i love that it doesn’t need to. & i’ll keep fixing whatever is wrecked. i’ll keep at it for as long as i can.
this minimalist craze
the bed We watched the winter from
had posts too tall for even the light to reach them.
they were trees, We were told. the leaves
they shed broke apart into the air,
scattered carbon, broke
back into stillness. We touched the ground
in their places. give Us collections—
the accumulation where We could
lose Ourselves. We: the secret plurality
that hides inside each body. loneliness is tiny
and it is everywhere; and Us,
We are here, looking for how, out of it,
love amasses & then, finally,
into itself, collapses.