Gale Marie Thompson
Yes, But More Animals
I am here dreaming of the Okavango, of lean times.
I keep thinking of my mouth without your mouth,
lobe-finned fishes, jackrabbits in their burrows.
There's a true science to how I dress.
When I walk I like to watch the great rumble
of my thighs find the light.
I want to hold sand against my chest but think twice.
Nothing is real to me unless it's right in front of me.
Is this enough bravado for you?
I want to give you the shape of a home,
but only if it's the right one.
I want you to cry when I tell you the bad news,
like the breeze takes away every warm thing, and
I did the best I could with all the decades.
Poem to John Denver
It is me, sinking at the bottom of the pool.
It looks like hopeful, almost.
Something not an appetite.
When I say I am thinking of self-portraiture
I am really thinking loveseat
over and over.
This town is making me itch,
and I am late in all the shipbuilding.
Instead I begin to tell jokes
in the backyard,
into the compost bin.
Heavy on the turnips.
Have you already forgotten about turnips?
Once, I almost touched your house.
I almost made a little noise,
persimmon in hand, flat like a tomato.
Existence is having a form.
No more will I race uphill
thinking delicacy, restlessness.
This mountain is famous
At first everything was going beautifully,
undressing, treading water.
Now I drink my body out in the kitchen.
I am thinking of arranging
the cat's playthings to stop the flooding.
It's easy to understand this quest for new pasture.
A long migration through ceramic French doors.
If you come over today I will clean the fish for you.
I have these gingersnaps and a jar of watermelon.
Come, guess which state I'm from,
guess which morning I picked these turnips for you.
Give me a laugh, and I will pick you up.
It's always warmest when a baby's around.
Today someone broke the sugar bowl.
Someone brought the decanter. If we are lucky
it will still smell of peaches and zinfandel,
all quite beautiful and buzzing.
If we are lucky we can see the turnip fields from here,
glowing and torpedoed from the rain.