Above the table for a queen's coronation,
For your bar mitzvah
Or my confirmation,
The celebration after our attempt
In the spelling bee
At the county-wide level,
Its evening with pancakes
Or steak primavera,
Country-fried steak,
Chicken-fried steak,
The dead angels risen
Into cumulous greetings,
The December mist
Of one morning's



We drop from the womb, develop the croup, and park our ear outside our mother's breast. Close as we kin git. And then the phlegm that curls the lips. You tent your hands before your chest to pray. Make clean lines with your digits like they teach you in the New York City Ballet. Pray for rhythm, rhythm indeed. Listening to let birdsong and Yahweh enter. Listening for your inherited burden. Carpentry? Perhaps Noah's trade: lifeboats. Stood on the lowest rung of the cattle fence, feet crowned in dung, and you sank. Did you show me that photograph of myself or did I merely dream it? Did I dream the war, which war? Black-and-white for effect or on account of the dominant technology? Style or economy? How old was I—eight? And how were you dressed? In dresses, possessed: ball-gowns, tuxedos, shoes, boots, shoes...shoes—all those weddings and funerals to go to, paper anniversaries in origami minds, "Send Umami my way, that little shit is out of order, in the extreme...all kinds of deceit!"

...like Tokyo, Dubai, Mumbai even, a neo-tomorrow panopticon of monorails and digital fistulas, of cold blooded pets and shrill-shirt bodegas, somewhere efficiently authoritarian and rhythmically insatiable, profound and repressive, boring and safe, whizzing and captive, an emergency zone on account of economy. And one's feet never touching the ground there, and one clinging tightly to the love-seat, looking out the window at interactions of chaos and speed deregulated even if close-captioned, speed so much speed, so much fucking speed...no time to stop, delay, hydrate, no time to stop and smell the roses or finger the beads—she would have to learn hydroponics, and keep her thoughts to the lines of a hand-woven journal. Only a journal could let her...duck below water; only hydroponics could promise her...fresh heirloom tomatoes.