for leila

there are walls everywhere
for people who can’t help but
see them

but when they start with th—
cutting bricks or whatever—
themselves—God help us all—
those hateful fucks.

he was drunk off his ass
(this was back in 406—
everybody plastered
2 a.m.)

it’s like—
like
when how they say is
it really yellow?

like you see something yellow
and someone else says yeah—
fuckin THIS FUCKIN SONG REALLY
Jesus Christ—
you both say it’s yellow right
but is it the same?
(looking for her face
to do something)

like the same yellow
or like blue or—yeah—

so they see these walls
and nobody else—like—
the broader society—but what if
(hands out wide)
actually it’s them
seeing the walls

and don’t know it—like
don’t recognize it?
(hand on her bare shoulder—
that was a long time
coming)

what a beautiful thing—she
said—to be able to wonder
what it must be like—and
he took her close and said
he had to sleep.

he was hardly worth her time
but so far gone—
she walked with him
into the velvet
warmth of starry april
empty jamestown road.

it had become awkward by then—
he knew even as he was
that he had failed.

still
the frogs
the crim dell

he said
you know i saw
a snapping turtle here
once

right here.
old dominion—this
place by the wall—
it still beats me why the hell—
it was a rainy night
i guess.

she said
sleep well

walking back south
thinking about the teeth
of the monster—
its regime of words and testimonies

the monster with no eyes no skin
but teeth
shining and final
always—

thinking
they want them to become visas
so they become visas
they wanted my father to become a visa
so he married
and she gave him his license
(in its language
there is no other way to explain

me).

thinking
if he was going to be wasted
it’s better that he didn’t
know—

who knows what he might
have said
if he had?

swimming in the million-eyed
sky

thinking
if someone says they’re looking at the stars
how can i know

whether they see
stars

like i
do?

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