As a Person Like a Person Hearing

Douglas Piccinnini

a higher voice among
the high voices and the highest
filtering down—

heels on concrete
and the dream flailing
voice against yours

to the dirt
as each of us
piece a body

as the most vocal volatile thing
has its year again
to scab over, larger—

look around
you live
in a place of futures

but in their future
in a lock
of departed promise

as though we each
please a body not
our own—

take my place
close the door
give the mouth its dissent—

so a gate swings, opens
so the ones running
run through—

or stars brighten a past
in the nothing of night
you wade into

a voice that borders your own
as though the one you cannot ignore
gives—makes itself itself again

the most vocal in you
saying it’s this year again
leaves, crisp / gone / small branch / bare / small green

look around
your wishing
in a picture

between becoming, forgetting
in a panic of news
to set the jaw in purpose

its pause
stops becoming
to age the stream—

this is my place
I am my slave
and the hands—

my hands touch me—
the outward color
that cowardice paints me

once more to’ve waited
a long time in eternity
by matched grave dark—

uncomfortable in love
unreasonable in dreams
isolation, desperation, emptiness—

a wind again as someone once
in elastic flesh announces:
I’m leaving

neither sun nor moon
by the same gift
brings arrest

what it is—in extreme
and how each west’d day
blisters, introduces alternatives

just to think of the not-being-there
of out there
in you, too

the heaviness you notice
only as you wait at a light
on a street, in some town—

gravity, yes, a coin
in your pocket
by morning by transfer

whatever the circumstances might be
my timer, green, yes
the molecule: mine, soft mine

very cut up to say money
isn’t culture and say what I like
in a stain of actions

as nature takes shape—
shines the abstract
obscure facts of power

the fault in me steady
built in the absurd
unifying gesture that won’t heal me—one

to go on quitting and find a new door
way to stand in to begin
in the hot ash of beginning