At world’s end: hydrangeas.
Transcendent hydrangeas.
Blind Willie Johnson’s wet
acoustics in a time capsule so slide,
baby, slide: The parameters of knowledge
& compass & physics. The waking,
lethargic world & darkness.
Triangulation is required
to know the distance
between yourself & darkness.
Little Girl, when will you be married?

I’m with you in your darkness
but the mud puppy is in the gutted fish
tank at the end of the world
with gravel, shrubbery,
—please feed Him.
He nudges his way around the glass
but we can’t keep Him here
in the middle of all this sharklessness
& irrelevance. I have squandered
my inheritance on cucumbers & eggs.
A journey to the moon.
I dotted the nebulae with crumbs
so I could find my way home
to Detroit: where baseball cards no longer
motorize the bicycle gears.
Where we have become
a flippant, nonnegotiable blink.
I am still a very long way from home.

Little Girl, we will sit in astonishment,
wondering, Who will die first?
We will trek the bloodshot acreage,
hold thick bottles of beer
& slam their creamy undertow.
Lick the teeth of wheat & barley.
We are such sickle-cell laureates!
We are such wicked wicked architects!

The roses will be mopped
from along the freeways.
The sickly alphabet will go nuts
with despair & while everyone is kissing
all the consonants of their lives
goodbye, we are moving, voweled,
bending into nothingness & grace.

Fourteen gallons of trash will still be
fourteen gallons of trash. We are made of
several different diameters & shapes.


Little Baby playing with a coat hanger
in Little Girl’s womb, am I a God
fearing man?

What a salty world you & I meditated upon:
doomed to be measured
in wheels & honey—oats & lumber
—the acronyms of earth—
Half-step your way into false eternity, child!
because we will never live our lives
like acrobats. We will never waltz
towards the sobbing horizon or
from the forgotten orphanage
to clerkless drugstore;
I have forgotten to take my medication.

At once, everything becomes dotless,
hospitalized, lickable:
I’ve got a brick back alley on my mind,
a fistful of amneotics, a vial of formaldehyde.


In the military graveyard,
Little Girl consolidates her loss
into semiautomatics & knives.
Twenty-one guns sing at once
in reverence:

The hallelujah of guns.
We suspend. Like cats. Above granite.

Row upon row of “Infant son/daughter of…..”
Humanity’s crib death.
Humanity, I watched you get dressed
in the morning.
Grandfather with the busted hand,
how God shook you like a fish.
Grandfather with the armchair,
this is all I remember of you:
Hey, batter, batter! Swing, batter, batter.

Detroit: where we bend.
I have taken too many drugs
to be healthy ever again
so I bend & quake.
So put me back on oxygen, Doctor:
so let us pray.

So I have fallen in that darkness
called love with a girl
who puts begonias in her hair
but can’t spin a quarter on the bar rail.
How fat & thick & relevant love is.
There is love & then there’s L-O-V-E love.
Little Girl, you are always in your Goddamn moods
after the late shift, sucking
on soft blueberries.
Little Girl, what is your real name?
I will call you ampersand.



Photo Source: Smith Writing Blog