I explain error, errand, chivalry (errant)
utopia, ropes in sand. Of sand. The King
(of Sadness): unconvinced

his semen is “like an ocean”
Semen, slightly unlike
oceans. Photograph (mine): light

on his profile from thin candles he lit & stuck
in a line. Caption: THE VERY YOUNG

GLISTEN. My old student Jeff in California
bringing me diagrams of missiles’
explosive yields, glossy pink & turquoise

concavities like airbrushed lampshades. For pitching
a cartoon about shy pudgy creatures & their singing
lives under the sea. So softly surely singing

Bob’s poem about California, plums. Thus
what I’m thinking about, skinning kiwis: balls
General Dynamics, noses molybdenum

& softer silver. Sheep in Afghanistan
pastured on mountainsides
to troll for missiles. Milling nightlong

wearing lanterns. ALL MEMBER STATES
IN GOOD FAITH. I explain forbidden
bidding, abide. All bidden all rise

all headshot headlong sunlight. I buy
& offer sponges, conceal my flinches
though I also stroke them like colorful feathers

to fletch my Moi, exotica rising silky from the mud
& streets with blood washed off or ground in
with a road grader if there’s too much

I explain the word       inspire [to breathe in spirits]
I wish I had more evil in me, just to feel strong & safe
continuous exhalation          A handful of empty goldish casings

Imagination making: how the bullets spun
Cannot picture the city with its nice round million
Water hisses heating in its mottled cylinder

My friends in California memorizing finches
Is it accurate to say “hemmed with tanks”? Or
is “hemmed in” better? And I the dark

eyes in the bark slashed where lopped branches
would hide in this tree from the bang
of a door. Can’t erase. The other.

Now. After the first gush
of astonishment, this ugly mixture
Warden of the corolla of my mind

Let me crack the safe
Like the body shot through the eye
What do you expect to see in a face

How to exist outside of words
I confuse the words for back and shadow
We can identify the hero by his scar