What do you know about
the mechanisms of despondence?
Bury the moving parts
under black top soil and oak wood chips-
you’ve got to make it look presentable
the people passing by only note,
with smiling lips that are already
wrapping around the phrases to follow,
“What a clever irrigation system!
Yes, such intelligent design,”
between sips from paper latte cups
with black or white plastic lids.
They may let the toe of their
shined up Mary Janes tap
your circular face
(always pointing to the sky)
and catch a few drops
from your slow leaking hoses
which will never stop watering the sod
so long as the city water main remains,
Do you know the damp of earth at twilight?
The way the dew springs cold
as a tear on the cheeks
of all the leaves at dawn?
What can you tell me about the salty sting
of an unexpected mist in your airway,
like walking the beach in December-
bundled up head to foot and still
cursing the wind?
What are the inner workings of a roiling
thunderhead that brings with it
the rising sun,
the stink of dust,
the bane of rust?
Does it resemble a northwest ocean
in the sky
with no sign of the shore for miles?
only heavy all around.
with their voided eyes
as sharp as their bloody beaks,
they’re as hungry as they are hollow,
with salt from the sea in the cage of their ribs.
From sullied white feathers
to sand riddled feet,
each part of them was formed
to be born and to die in the ever changing wet-
that’s why they make that sound.