I carry eight winds in a blackvelvet bag,
that guide me by becoming my breath.
In bright weather, eight faces place reasons
before me like wellinformed whethergirls,
puzzling pieces aboutways, together, apart.

But when my (sk)eyes are dark, they starve
themselves, grow wings: tattered, diaphanous—
moonthings hiding gifts of scattered linen
gnawed by moths with worldswide radio antennae,
barbed wit barricading my halls of letters,
mirabile dicta of spectral light spun from
accursed sleepless nights.

Then, yielding, listening
for the crystal ring of clarity,
stingrayshuffling—through murky
sand—one bare foot forward for
the aching strand of pattern—

A word unknown
speaks flavor, pairing it
unerringly with a fitting theme:
a feel of fleetingly touching
with liquid chameleon gloves, un-
madeup yet clear
-sighted in an alien

My leadveined, stainedglass
eyes load prayers—a sting
of rose of sharon leaves

me gaping, gaptoothed—smaller
arms thrust lighter weight
facefirst to the rustgrained
mirror above my pink
ceramic childhood sink—

Purplered smoke of a trailer
fire almost within sight—begging
chorus of pinkynailsized toads I failed
to scoop from down around the
blocks in time—

As if for trust
gained in the hopes of a lizard
invasion coming up
like the sun of an adoring
face you can stare straight into
and not selfimmolate—

All imploring
me extract my
hand from the trap of rolling
machinery threatening to flatten me—

Stop earning—save myself
, at least, from burning—defend

the rightness of my
wriggliness, & let
beauty fade
without mourning, for thus

fades no feather,
nematode or nomad met,
but mirrors gazing into
mirrors procreate a universe
of flames, all

potential bleached from my playpen,
my sweet marshdove's purplegreen
tracequills wavering inexorably in the face
of what they can never quite scare away,

& the gaudiness of this traveling stage,
creaking & sequin-shedding
across an orange page of desert,
then a cloudglass one of salt flat,
edges however feebly toward