Seven Conversations with the Minotaur

ET. Stark

Do you feel wind?

Stay awhile
List all the directions
we might move in

Stand still
Trick dead leaves
into flying
My skull is open
like a summer window

Lost-curtain bold
I am a voyeur
without a view
a slight breeze

And my wax-paper kite
is unhappy to be
far away

Hands made

Dyed stolen colors
A tail of my own coiled braid

Asking it to tell me
what it sees
up there

But my shadow-kite remains
then silent
My hands are raw
and evenly divided

Cut the string
Be kind

I am not far off



Do you see shapes in the clouds?

I see
A hare wearing a suit
and eating turtle soup
with human hands
that curl in apology

A ship, a woman
made of splinters
lowered face first
into a hissing sea

They are blue
or white
and I want it like before
when I knew how
it felt to wear
a snakeskin purse

I can’t forget
what the clouds Were
or when they showed up

One day I saw another world
A mirror looked up
and instead of me
I saw you
and someone else



Do you know what day it is?

I am a calendar
without the lunar phases
and national holidays

It is Tuesday
for telling tales
for rest
on a different pair of legs

It is
the night before
I forget my last name
and scoop yours up
off the gravel drive

Can you give me
the time
A page before ink
is everything

is our anniversary
of the first death
second time you touched
my palm

you will fix my neck
and hang coats
from my open mouth

But today
I am

And tomorrow
is not mine



Can we eat?

At sunset
there are many courses
set for two

Then one

I am ravenous
nickel-spent and
Where is
the kitchen timer

Everything will oxidize
I forgot
to preheat
our oven

The tomatoes
are growing well
in the wet soil
between my legs

I called them
my own
Promised not
to swallow

I was not
born cruel

It began to snow

I ate
my children



What do I call you?

it was Cactus Flower
You showed

Used a branch
that I called

Once you said
and took me
with fists

I think I was named
for my mother’s
broken rib

Did you bring
a sword
this time

Or just a rulebook
for rolling dice
for counting

I let you in
Offered you old-drink
with salt

You ate my food
tasted me

And you still
don’t know
My name


Have you seen the ocean?

I can show you the Ocean
a shape
the center
of my thumb in dust

Lint covered beetles swim
the Ocean
in a cardboard box
away from the light

I have never seen
sunset-waves speaking
bird languages
drowning insect sailors
so they won’t know
the other side is identical
to the first

About the blue fish
they’re gone
If I know how to hold my breath
I am white-whale-towing
a silhouette boat
to the sun

I know about the sun
I do

Ember bigger than my hand
smaller than my mouth
opened wide

Sun-swallowed and red throat wet
but it was not dark
I could not see my stomach glow

The same sun setting
on the Ocean in a box by my bed

I’ve never seen ships
getting smaller
on a flat-line horizon
I’ve never been to shore

I have built
broken-glass Castles
and sealed the box



How do you name the flowers?

After their gods

Sometimes it is monosyllabic
and sometimes
a string of lights in
an empty room

I named one Rain
and clipped the thorns
Cut the stem at a diagonal
Took the word back

maybe they are
copies of the sky

So call them constellations
of flickering fluorescents
and be done

I am never done
I named a chrysanthemum
An orchid Opal
The violent Violet 

Then I fell down in the dirt
and told them all
my name was