Acting

ACTING

ACT

I am in the water
upon, sometimes,
if I slip onto my side
and support myself
on the drowning books drifting by:

– sometimes bobbing, spinning; big and small –

I can rest upon them

 

ACT I

Lately there have been no letters:
you see,
sometimes
dressed in opulent envelopes

– and saved from the water by a glass and cork arrangement –

they drift by

 

ACT II

Curiously enough
they also often carry
a coarse yet sublime
composition of the plant life
as a tether

– with which if I am careful to evenly distribute the frequency of my attempts to grab it –

I can shift position
to move more toward
one side of the water

 

ACT III

For a moment
I’d been sure
they were mirrors
shimmering, glinting
and slipping by

– producing what felt like being caught in the deluge of a broken mirror out in the open, under the sun, on the water, so I could see my wide and tired, wired I’s all around –

but alas
it was a passing school of fish
and their quiet eyes
and I remember
there is no class struggle here

 

ACT IV

If I might grip the tables edge
and pull my nose over the top
until my knuckles squeezed white
then I could just
(just!)
maybe
see her eyes

– and they have the texture of wet fish skin rippled by the light because the membrane is old and thin unlike time, which gets thick and sticky, dark and tricky as it reaches for the vacuum –

and she doesn’t know
the ways she’s old
or thin
or has skin that ripples
like under her arms
as if underwater

ACT V

Just, just
it rolled into my hand
over my fingers
and into my palm
After clicking, clacking, cracking
across the kitchen floor

– I thought it looked, it seemed, propelled by fluid, but in fact it was so dry and un-porous it needed no liquid, didn’t bob nor glide, and then I understood the timing was all wrong to imagine it wasn’t parched and stale –

so, eye winked
to wave a fly
with my eyelash
thinking,
that its sticky tongue
might come loose
on my skin

 

ACT VI

Speaking of fly tongues,
Can I finger the flavour
inside my mouth?
Or only a lover,
if mother can’t either?

– and in experimental fashion, in a number of different places, I stuck out my tongue when no one is looking, to taste fish by the river and dust on land, kicked up and making my lips crusty with earth and my mouth full of platitudes –

And I guess,
I could try spit it out,
perhaps,
but there are really only stones
to suck for saliva,
for a tongue stuck tricky
with sand:
teach it
and tie it,
with a little waving flag