dear thing / blessed bad-luck omen / do they know you anymore in this god-fearing place? / can they explain you away in myth / or in miracles? / here is a story / of how the body used to die / back when the windmills spoke / and the electric towers were gods that turned themselves to devils when the storms came / once the spirit congealed like ink and turned soot-black with time / and new people were built from the jawbones of more ancient things / once everything ran downhill / like rivers / like the heavy stone of sisyphus / which was never a stone / but a skull / the size of a house / it was the first of all death premonitions / and they’ve been spilling from our sinks ever since / every night my teeth fall out / and each morning every piece of me grows back / molecule by molecule / universe by universe / like the city inside a petri dish / the urban sprawl of beetles on a corpse / mushrooms in a fairy circle / when were you last lonely for the last time? / how many yesterdays ago / did you become someone you didn’t recognize? / tomorrow I will wake up for the thousandth thousandth time / and forget you like I always do / I may not even look out my window / you know better than any figment / that things need not be real to have shadows / you need not see ghosts to be haunted / you are one phantom / I am another / dear pair of eyes / I pray you / keep some of me with you when you go / it’s all any set of syllables could want / to be placed in a mouth / gently / and chewed like meat / when I am nothing / I think what I’ll miss most / is being tasted / when I am back in whatever ether I sprang from / I think I’ll long / for a pair of hands / do you remember my hands? / I created you, didn’t I? / sacred piece of evil / memento mori / I know one day this world will die and the candles will scream in the shape of smoke / I know you had no hand in being the herald of disasters / speaking with mouthfuls of crickets and ink / and clean as a tomb thanks to the persistence of the maggots / tell me, old god / what do you owe the decomposers? / how deathless is your debt once the rot sets in? / there are no vultures left to pick at your decay / poor beast / so I hope you have something to cloak yourself in when you declare yourself king / of this sunken city / where nothing remains but closed windows / and dry riverbeds / sometimes a nightmare is less of a nightmare / and more of a stray / old thing / I pity your hollowness / I’m sorry you cannot wake / when I do