Joi Knows How

Joi Knows How

There is ceremony
in the lighting of
a naked wick.
Here,
language is heat.
The introduction of flame,
an agreement to live
by dancing with the unseen
on a pillar of sweaty wax.

I am here
again.
Trailing behind the breath
like smoke
lifted from an absent flame.
Sounds beg explanation,
the day’s etchings arrive.
Carpet under thigh
reminds me to
buy floor pillows
live somewhere else
call my aunt—
Again,
the breath
and a voice:
“The outcome is inward.”
Tasteless and palpable,
savor the epiphany
until it dissipates.
Eyes scan the inner.
Again the breath,
rest,
return.

You wore a sweater
with buttons dangling
from frayed threads.
Your hands, careless,
forced through worn fabric
as they wondered:
 
What’s the use of hanging on?
I watched one break free
the night we arm wrestled
on the kitchen counter.
It fell into its fate,
in the corner next to
a huffing refrigerator.
Every morning
as I stand and spoon oats
into my mouth,
I watch the button—
the lint it now carries,
its bed of dust—
in fear you won’t notice
when I am gone
either.

Poetry

I took my body out walking
the morning after a rainday
looking for the places where
the water had settled:
Wet sheet of truckbed
Spoon cusp of leaf
vacant flower pot
bowl beneath the treeswing
I returned as you were waking,
ready to share what I had found, but when
you looked at me I could not speak of
the storm
behind your eyes.

burning

 Dangling

where the water settled

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