At Least There Is Sometimes a Momentary Sweetness

I lose pieces of myself amidst the berries,
                cradling the brilliant flower of death.
I stalk with a train of pearly ghost children.

It’s a chore parsing whispers, so tiring to listen.
To abandon my ghasts on sea air would be harm;
ceding ash to dry wind, gunpowder to lightning.

I could chop a hand through them.
                                It would be so easy.
I want to chew my mouth violet,
                 strings caught in my teeth.
I want to see flames swallow prow,
                                               silk mast and tin.

Instead I pick teeth from the hull of a boat.
I scoop purple insides out of a shell.

The business of life is so many actions.
Closing up sails and lighting wildfires.
Running angry into the dark.

Plants drop the sickest parts of themselves
           to keep the rest of the body from dying.
It’s never so easy as a bloodied fist, opened.

My friend wears the monster that tried to eat him.
Another is sleepless with knowledge and names.

I pull meat from body, unblinking and violent,
        walk my phantoms in circles ’til they dissipate.

I cannot leave this world; nobody survives it.
I put a handful of jam on my tongue and lie back.