without a leash

                 a conversation ensconced in only one Spoken

these aren’t the words I want to say.

maybe there aren’t words to do what I want to do.

like I’d like their meaning to matter, being words.

       merely words.

       rough hewn, on the loose.

she says abstract.   meaning something else?   but, yea.
I wanna say I understand.   I wanna say I understand
everything.   including not the words, but what they
mean without the tethered word.

like me, like you, like sun, warm touching, like animals
with four feet, like close enough to know your scent
(like my cat used to do with my dirty shirts on the
closet floor), like that.   (if you know, you know what
I mean.)


like what understanding really means without the
cloak.   like how process means removing what isn’t
to finally get to what is.   less, but meaning more.

       process, more than result is my breath.

like love.

yea, like that.   without hint of shy or fear.
what’s it like when love leaves your body?

just passing through.   like they say.   like that.

       a conduit.   nothing held in your hands.

       can that be imagined?
nothing wants to be less (or more) than it is.
another stray cat who comes home with you.
       gratitude is a mirror.   I long to be
       your words.
what walks on four feet, but doesn’t come when
you call?   poems, yea, poems.   by tooth and claw.
       affections second face.

       here’s a high-water mark.
death in the abstract, she says he says.   sometimes
(well, only once actually) I’ve considered the possibility
as possible.

think I understand?   no.   more than yesterday.
but the not-abstraction is more personal.

like they say, I’ll tell you when I know.
but no.   I won’t.

habits save my life.   habits confuse my life.
Alan Watts used to tell this story (and if he didn’t,
I’m saying he did) about a finger underneath a blanket,
poking the blanket up into sky.   when finger is moved
away – the blanket remains.   it is just a change in
altitude.   so where do we identify?
       draw your own geology.

yea, laundry, and dirty dishes.   they make demands.

but also, yes, it is within the smaller details where
I roost.   a particular fallen autumn leaf, even as
it continues to morph away from sight.

       these bits and pieces we measure here.

what to do with an injured bird, she asked.

they aren’t endangered or anything, he said.
       yea?   that’s me you’re talking about.

how to turn inside out a breaking heart.

        that’s a verb, not a noun.

    I said thus.   unblemished.

    be the stone in the middle of the creek.

    use your words.    speak.    speak now.

Houdini says, given time all will be made clear.

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