Heartbreak is contagious, a hot fire
in the stomach, to numb the heart
and let sweaty palms grow moist
in the morning traffic. We seek
out companions, imagine their forgiveness
along with a cool tangle of arms.
Before night, before morning they would
be bringing us back into warm motions
and rituals, all breasts eternally permitting,
growing in love. We are hopeful.
A reunited beloved girl gains
our trust. A careful tongue hangs
on its every mouthful, its bright
mood bringing to life our pathos.
Our eyes turn cold and tired;
hair grows in our eyes; a stink
of deception, foul clouding of moments
and lies. But light comes, we break
our very best. The first bride to be.
Great sobs surface and softly subside
around us. Ancient ghosts of the past?
No, Friends are falling in our scene.
The Beginning of Myth by William Hathaway from The Gymnast of Inertia
Breakfast is congnac, a cozy fire
for the stomach, to numb the lips
and let swamp trees grow emerald
in the morning mist. We fish
for crappie, imagine their huge eyes
aglow in a cold tangle of roots.
Before day, before history the wood
is swollen black, the water murky
with danger, all beasts eternally pregnant,
grunting in labor. We are drunk.
A reptile becoming a bird groans
in trees. A purple tongue hangs
from the fish's mouth and its bright
blood drips to beetles in palmetto.
Our eyes turn old and terribly keen;
hair grows in our shoes; a stink
of dinosaur, flies clouding their mouths
and eyes. But light comes, we break
out the beer. The fish begin to bite.
Great bubbles surface and softly belch
around us. Ancient gases of the dead?
No, Frogs are farting in their sleep.