A Man, in Three Parts


here’s how it happens:

             the man pushes my head down,

             or am i pulled by the roots

             like weeds? my body is a

             body strung tight. my skin

             hardens to wood and swells

             out in thick rings, arms up,

             rooted one hundred feet

             below soil. somewhere there

             are cows baying, long and

             low, with wolves that look

             like little lambs.


the man—in this light he is a man,

or a figure of a man. he has a face

like a clock has a face. he has

been looking for a place lodged in

the back of my throat. i would

go on if there was a point in

going on. i have gotten so good

at coming and going, i forgot

how it feels when there is so much

enduring left to do.

falling is just lying down.

he says, sleep, and really

it is kind of like that.


it was the kind of warm that puts you asleep,

the sun falling like a sheet on

my skin. we were in a bus or the car, it doesn’t

really matter, we were going

to a place i didn’t want to go. it could have

been night. i was slipping,

the car was moving ahead without me, going

forward and forward.

i have dreamed about it more than once.

i would go on—

the fewer places i can stay the more there are

to go—it makes me think of

a train ride i have taken. i can go on the

way the end of a string

becomes unrecognizable. the ends of my fingers

are always buzzing now.

i have become a type of lunatic, or a god. i could

smash something and it

wouldn’t take any effort at all.

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