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Declension Music


The dreamer wakes up
Near the axis of the dream.
The trees there are blue,
The ground made of fire,
A cold fire, and the other world
Where he sleeps is only
A splinter of memory
Fixated between the moon
And a thin, vitreous cloud.
In this place, the heart proves
To be made of plurals,
Papier-mâché birds who roost
In the shape of a body.
He can feel his awareness
Grow scattered, each twittering thought
Pushed towards the boundaries of the dawn,
Its white fractals.
Whatever names signify
In our austere cognition,
They are only music now—
Reels of deteriorating polyester
Looping back, again and again,
In the dreamer’s mind.



You park the car in a place
Where the headlights are
Overwhelmed by darkness,
Where the radio fades
Into the migrant static,
The negating air.
Mars moves into the rearview mirror
Like some creature of the night
With its one red eye.
You don’t believe in war,
But your blood recognizes
The call and pounds inside you.
All around, the lilacs fill your breathing,
Barely perceptible, in-breath and out.
You don’t have to be anything
For anyone, not even the gods.
The field breaks open like a heart.

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