Held to Earth

Whatever it was that was supposed to
hold on my face,
steady the astrolabe,
reserve the seats and tether the baboon,
whatever those pills are supposed to do,
those hooks, rings, documents,
whatever I meant by delphiniums,
what she wore by the lake and said,
they say every other Rembrandt
although, as will blood, the fake
is often the most convincing.
Some contaminants make liquids clearer
but put enough black paint on anything
it becomes a door.
It’s dark out.
The most elegant woman in the world
watches me throw up in a trash can.
When you hold something on fire,
shouldn’t it weigh less and less?
Does everything have to become ash
to ascend? It’s not that there aren’t comforts.
An inmate in Iowa sends chocolates.
My mother comes back from the dead.
A call from a friend stuck in an elevator.
A postcard of a child riding a pig.
I went where we used to live
to dump the last teaspoons of dog ash
into the culvert. Someone was signaling.
Someone was being carried out.
5 trips. In pieces. Like a harp.