Poetry

Rosetta 2

Photo by Thomas Meier-Löpfe. CC-BY-NC.

i sold my body rosetta for a gig adding vowels to papal bulls i know rosetta it’s a living so i dyed the ultrasound image blue and preempted with posters of dolly parton in his bedroom rosetta and i used drillbits and the fact ROTC rhymes with yahtzee to build him a mobile of nine unchanged earths with fewer than seven continents rosetta my lung is coated in licorice the kind you peel into twine and trade for crypts and currency rosetta there you go again talking degrees rosetta as if i won’t jump when the mineshaft plummets as if i won’t craft a slingshot from right (left twig) and wrong (right twig) and my grandson’s kindling (handle) as if rosetta look at me when my body is open as if i don’t come home every day to turn the binoculars off and electrocute my glottis so my son won’t treat these screams as études and when he’s back from higher ground rosetta i cover his eyes so as wilted aspens spent with old age busk for his allowance he won’t see it through the skin of my palms

every day i build a castle because you asked for one rosetta out of pipette columns and prison cells for infinite series rosetta and for you i proved an algorithm of petals so in the limit you always love me not rosetta i engineered a murder of crows with unwomanned craft i taught owls proper circadian rhythm so they’d sleep through the worst of it and forget and cicadas to apply for patents and frogs models of public housing rosetta i measured parapets and requested black moats from retiree mountains so our date spots stay afloat in this new world i froze my eggs because i know you like war movies i performed analysis on you in the theater then went to the rafters made of stolen college glassware and refused rosetta to snipe you down after all we’ve weathered refuse to take you in my reticles rosetta trust the crosshair red notching and inky sequence after another on the bridge of your sapient nose like 3D models of fire spreading order finally across your pores

i’m not sure if you’d smell as sweet rosetta if you bought organic but if it isn’t a tire swing or suicide i’ll crucify myself to an impish maple and dilate the white rose thorns into arrows and fudge-dipped cones and rusted nails and a unicorn’s horn to show this world such as it is rosetta that horses are on this earth sworn to flowerbeds and that rotten egg you’re sniffing is danish malfeasance at the federal level and you and i rosetta made bushels of our bodies and got arrested and tested cologne on campaign finance disclosures and i’d come over just you and i rosetta coffee the color of oil and a new ballpoint pen storyboards of cows moving east learning snow and when we didn’t like the bill rosetta we held hands and grew our hair out and envied art blakey and swore off meat and threw paper airplanes far as we could in the motorless valley and when rosetta on retrieving mine you fell on a cactus i got on my knees and intoned statistics on pet names in the future and argued the dogs would revolt on hearing the phoneme leash and using my charisma i plied your skin to release every last lovesick burr and after palm-reading bark i left your blood to dry