I am waiting for a goat to chew carnations
at my window. A million stars go dark
in walls like men I have kissed at the right
time for the wrong reasons. But this is not
about numbers or how my steps sink
in a quicksand of longing. This is about
weird word pairings—lichen and fang—
soaring like wrens for erasure in Heaven.
I return, indent, and try to name
ten living painters whose palettes run
the gamut of blues. Zebra, rucksack, valley,
fingers. Where is my hymnal, my bellweather
song? Bleating, you arrive like flowers.
The moon is a feather. The hour smoke.
Green like a river the mountain is red.
A mule descends a yellow thread.
It carries on its back a door
on which is carved a hall of doors.
Penitents, paramours, chapel of bone—
who will remember the names of birds?
In the heart of this desert
no horse, no spear
a horseman spears a nation of water.
Two Cadae from The Burning Door
If I could
would live in it—
crudely-built bird house
of scarred worm wood balanced just beyond
of my extended arm—
or at least visit
once or twice
to confirm what I
have no firm basis to believe:
the floors are lined with soft white feathers
the walls painted sixteen greens.
a scrap of yellow
legal paper each word two spaces
the one that comes before
it and six of those
with a line
crossed through like a road.
But what about the other three?
Cardio, candles, fertilizer—
these are the words of the dead.
Tony Leuzzi is the author of Radiant Losses (New Sins Press, 2010) and The Burning Door (Tiger Bark Press 2014). In 2010, BOA Editions released Passwords Primeval, Leuzzi's interviews with 20 American Poets.