I Want to Make You Safe

Fusion is the only thumb,
an avalanche of turning
handles, cinching jars,
the wine from which we drink free will.

How can we be chained each
to separate nieces who lace the four corners of my silk
dress shirt? Without water, I remain a ripple
in your glass, a fist against the page, dressy and warm.

A dandelion seed also looks for corners to lie,
so here am I
a seated tin can
with intrusive mice to lend a hand.

Let them grow, these future kids
my womb to fill, my womb well hid.

But the dung of art
beats a mainstream twitch-
ing bootleg drum off in the most avant
garde they think they’ve smitten,
just because a mission bell
far dispersed like everyone else soon enters.

A house in the country, no?
A rabbit for stew and petting.

The dead do not wear life without
long silence, coats long
we sling around our sloping shoulders,
hurry through a mirrored wind
and rain beneath the armored
tortoise shells — O footed beast,
you remind me of my silent partner stalking
the slant of my back rain pipes through.

What’s it like to lose a foreign coin
down a well?
An atomic arm upon the passage,
dear white rabbit, skin of my hare?
Only trees in numbers
can knock us down,
burn the lettered alphabets that make a name
from lung-sequestered commas,
oxygen matter sifting money, heart
attacks, a lack of hate to push death into…

We get up later, hush the faces,
wish the days weren’t ours to bury,
shelve and bring a new one down, walk the house
without the costume drinking
freshly-plucked, wine red oak
legs that scream on fire, sirened
police behind horizons I long and long
to climb upon. How can I never see you again?
The days I die for you
stretch about your thighs, rope you back,
your mummy rises with aspirin
tucked between my shoulder blades
to lick the night behind.

Romans descend and no one prevents
a world of obedience. We hang on
kite tails, balance spoon handles,
trigger fly traps with tweezers.
We yank at triggers cascading.

A letterpress gives birth to multiplicity,
I practice identity by hand-cranked tennis work.
What happens if anyone cares?
The goateed German waltzes Schopenhauer
or else becomes a cantankerous housewife full
of pleated quilts that her teeth still watch
low budget puppet shows against. Vivian Leigh walks out
in jet black Sabrina Capri’s
to throw a blonder pale war down
on her leg or bum or whatever turns the greatest insult.

The baby spills into five thousand beads of crystal
all bouncing where the gutter fakes appearance.
We are heat through windows watching,
bumps into other places, some period of infinity
or rule. Without a contract or contact, it’s awful
how little I see of you.

Careened and thwarted, the bully apprentice
grew a plaster prison to toil
the mimicked prophecies spelling our sense upon:

A Persian rug reminds me of an ornate religion,
perfunctory paraphernalia,
dank knouter ordained
amid the bleating whips, whoever said
one mattered received two lashes,
but scars aren’t enough to make photographs
work out. They hinder the sight’s brain-length.

People will be what they do to their souls.
Or else the spoons of natural history
go water-witching marble fingerprints,
a kind of lying decay for museum hours
we obsess by.

When the army trucks ran over the candy one,
Iraq was all it never would be.

Into reddest rose blooms
a serious business: she fairly screamed to practically
nothing—they took the wrong ghost home.
Because the climate goes, we stand
temporal and durable; our pants lockjaw hands,
an outer language of the palm’s earthly center,
a fly on the fence amiss.

Our insensitive species, we grow evermore
lattice-worked diseasing interests.

And so it goes—Are you right for democracy’s
chief this-and-this, a dream world window
arranging the Real with rubber bands,
this sealed solarium, a clam with no ocean in sight?

Of symptoms, an oaf in hotel
with numskull denizens—
how does this evening find you
retiring numbers? Poultry programs with
antibiotic-baked chicken?

Dormant mouse, we alone face our time.
But I liked you too; I’m into old men,
that part of your mind still lying,
not even a cracker to nod against.

Still, eat the binocular particles,
the florid hallucinations to nibble
and welcome our public theaters of talk
virtues don’t lie upon—they
want to find a celibacy for unused
pawns to change their natures from.

Your doorbell is a fly on the fence amiss.

My accordion squeezebox plays
with wounded arm, knee on head grotesque,
an elbow in the midget’s frankincense,
sweet confusion for who to pray to
for bounty on the bruise of this bottomless
excess, old world baking, the aroma’s atomic bomb,
crumbs fallen to his groin, and she, looking on.

Imperialists are not defunct. Proof is the poet’s burden
to tell but write beneath: nicotine needles,
caressing a voice in the woods that wanders
through mine, revolution in honeyed motion
stops short against our animal bodies,
skins the people will change again.

Criminal digging at buried light
at risk of soul at risk of loss,
we thought barbed wire
and factories saved our grace
with little workshops. We rent and wrench
and flag the world. Suddenly rain
drops we went
out side, all black around us, outside surmounts.

A newborn walks into
grammar absorbed,
the mummy betrothed, ahead
violent books attack the stagnant family,
free speech in alphabets gated

Around not-waiting on paralysis shapes,
giving world what
I’ve not got—
a room can hold
me, can stillness hold us
from this fight?

A fair number
imitators. But not the inside
lightning. The seductive fist
of brimstone lodges deep within the throat.

Upon the heart’s shoe rising,
I’ll roast your dinner skewered on the bones
of my hand, nightly caressing your lips into ears—
that language is the new cover-up.

After hours, the factory keeps my house in shape;
they won’t talk until you toe the torture
line though;
I’m going to run like a horse’s army
through Van Gogh veins, an entry way to suicide food,

A choir of bless you’s and bona fide cleansing
like my own bowl
weevil arches and spends
blueblood mornings with me.
He has a forgotten road
rage under his hinder rash. He ignores the chain
of each handshake linking to one moment: but.

He finished his essay by the end of our date, off topic.
He’s another being, manure-style. He that eat of the worm
that eats of a king can live that I may become
his entrails, one finger in a drone of cherubic phone calls.
Christmas trees come together. Sentinels raise
their belated beaks. The natural order turns our bread into pulses.
We eat food from others, turn edible ourselves.

But when did doorbells decease? You sound too alphabetical
shining amidst such lessons … in the retracting foot
steps, give them back and I’ll
also make meals to oranges and apples
on tongues, chop down stalwart toad
stools to perch your fat furry ass upon.

Kill the family? How about kindle the children
and spark a heart’s arch for us to walk beneath?
The camel through a needle passed, kicking out.

Hello Lady Bird,
Hola, Smashed Guitar Parts,
I take these strings to this neck
and cut the tumor in half—love is a surgery
in participles, pus-filled insects.
Additional commands keep the planet well-heeled:

Walk the ankle of my spine with your tendrilled antennae,
feel my way along the ocean’s floor of god’s back:
we speak the same word. If only not for

The angry swell of mass inconvenience
against the girl who swallowed
one hundred thousand objects.
Jump into the wishing box.
Find your Ecuadorian, your pigeon
near the earth’s waist straining…find a notch
of not-me and help with the surgery.

I want to make you safe.

God is the excess
of our collective minds
of our collective wing wax
of our flights past time zones.
Sometimes we write
another time
to ache by,
the jester jumping
along our spinal
cords between
knuckle bones,
the imprint of God’s
shattered fist.

But now I feel it, the sensitive ear rotting red
as my thought’s blood blister
catches up with me—
On civics,
the stereo oxygen splits into air I hear
through green stems of tulip surgery,
brown leaves stricken with
the crutches of living.
A wind that plays
a moon’s harp shaped
by my rib cage missing
its limbs. Please reattach the orifice if
I’m ever to hold onto your love.

Amy King is the author of I’m the Man Who Loves You and Antidotes for an Alibi, both from Blazevox Books, The People Instruments (Pavement Saw Press), and most recently, Kiss Me With the Mouth of Your Country (Dusie Press). Forthcoming from Pudding House Press is Men By the Lips of Women. She edits the Poetics List, sponsored by The Electronic Poetry Center (SUNY-Buffalo/University of Pennsylvania), moderates the Women’s Poetry Listserv (WOMPO) and the Goodreads Poetry! Group, and teaches English and Creative Writing at SUNY Nassau Community College. Her poems have been nominated for several Pushcart Prizes, and she has been the recipient of a MacArthur Scholarship for Poetry. Amy King was also the 2007 Poet Laureate of the Blogosphere. She is currently editing an anthology, The Urban Poetic, forthcoming from Factory School. For information on the reading series Amy co-curates, please visit The Stain of Poetry: A Reading Series blog, and her own site, AmyKing.org.