How many times
did one hand open
the dresser drawer
before it was gentle enough
before it was careful enough
to see

To see the meadows in float
rising and receding in their own little flood
thin silvers that line the cresting folds of waves
the fresh paradise of blue-greens
floating in the smell of the colors and
sinking in the feeling of the smell as the hand
guides itself gently through the swollen, undiscovered,
pale homelessness of a secret world -- of these
opportunities, I can only beg the hand


But always, seen or unseen, there will be doubts
in tribe, a migrant swarm of it:


slithering like black airborne model trains
a chain, in connected flight unto landing
on the rim of a deep, blackened drum

where they rise and fall
like solid black raindrops
on the ever-stretching nylon skin
of the black drum's head
in a wide and steady wave
like shaking the slack from a rope
to whip back down in tiny lightning strikes
one by one along the line of heavy tethered doubts

one togethered volume of black
left alone in its constant flow like
a hole in the curtain might give way
to a finger just as easily, or just as well as
an eye
an ear
vocal c(h)ords
like a little tear in the blackness
might give way to some kind of information

who might affirm how little is really held
who might remind us that anything worth keeping
is unforgettable
who might even show us everything

who might show just how much there is
to be peeled and flaked away to reach
the flightless, perverted and alien
who might be so untouched and abandoned
they become their own inescapable walls
who might yield
go back
onto, into
and their opportunities

who might show that loneliness
is a signal flare
to be burned exactly
and never fall


How many times
can one hand curl
the roots of a tree
that hangs only brothers
whose branches only give way to the weight
of only sons and daughters

how many times can a hand be charged
with a sense of belonging
in the nest of another's flesh
before it's too late to ever make a hand feel

how many risks must it take
to be wrapped around smoke
around soft triceps of track runners
in blue gowns with black glistening hair
that flows out as they burst with little seeds of patience
like sweat,
overflowing with kindness in stride before
it stops
to make some claim of that kindness
in some ownership of that smoke
before it could even reach
that which only wants so badly
to be felt, and to be touched

how many ages of sickness can one hand
feel in its bathing, batoned fingers
until the mind can connect itself
to the missing bloodlines
until it revisits those
twisting ladders of history on which
you may never climb upwards

and how many hands will it take
to forgive
the absent
no matter how many arms we might have
to connect and to hold
onto, into

how carefully must a hand open
a dresser drawer and how many times
before it can see the meadows flood
and dip itself through the rising
to feel the calm of its reach
in changing of the waterline
in the changing of the guard
in the changing on the floors of the world


How many times will the hand's curiosity
be denied and be protected
from the truth in the dresser drawer
split wood cracking
against itself, drowning
the sound of a small and leaving light
into a single color:


the taps closing all the questions
in its soft rhythm consonance
the sweet unpleasance, a rejected handshake
doubt in its purest form
the classic retraction
its limp catch of slack as it pours
, the thick sweetening glaze along
the stretched nylon skin of a dead black drum

to trust the stilling and togethered black sway
to know that nothing is eternally keepable
that everything will be forgotten and to feel
the doubt...that anything could ever be worth keeping and
to trust that flaming shot of loneliness to never fall and

could a hand
be so strong
as to silently show us
that to see, and to feel, and to understand
will forever mean so much more
than anything to be kept or remembered and

how many times
did those meadows flood without you
or me or anyone's hand
to witness, to bless, and to know and

can a hand
still so easily
to come back





The doubts keep,
like preserves in a flat
ring at the tap
in measure perfect pattern black

and they all have their own reasons
for every attack