autotomy

sometimes I believe
I am writing
one long-ass poem
to uncoil slowly
like a Jesus Christ
lizard tail
ready to brush
your hollow cheek
before the appendage
breaks off

I will grow a new one
I don't have to grow a new one
life without a tail
is a lonely walk
across water

I consider the flashy metallic elytra
on a beetle that gets tangled in my hair
how I don't realize
it has hitched a ride
till I am inside the hotel lobby
how guilt motivates me
to scoop it onto a map
of the central business district
to return it to the great outdoor
concrete wilderness

I consider
the possibility
rows and rows of Indiana corn
is the best line
I will ever write

how 44 years
is a long time
to wait to see
my best friend
from elementary school again
consider writing a poem
called third child
how we hold onto
the position
even when baby brothers are born

how I jones
for words
that work hard
on paper
inside books

how I don't identify with Baby Boomers
who taught me new math
and old style mechanical drawing
or Gen Xers
raised on MTV and Nintendo
how I belong to whatever cohort
my sisters belong to
how I'm always tagging along
with mud on my face
and sand in my shoes

I consider how exhilarating
to swear freely inside a water tank
turned mecca for sonic arts
how I will enter through a proper door
not a drainage hole
hell damn it all
I will make this shit
swell awash with the sound
of water that hasn't powered
a locomotive in a hundred years

consider how
that hummingbird isn't dead
just startled
to find itself
flat on its back

sometimes I believe being born
on a Sunday evening in late fall
means I will always worship
the darkness that blots out
civil twilight's embers

I don't own land
I am slang
I must keep moving
I am an obligate ram breather
I am slang

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