even when words begin to burn


even WHEN silence is not listening.   the body does.

surrender, a much maligned form of negotiation.

       here, scrunch over.   make some room.
at lion’s first sight of antelope.   described as honest desire.

not a threat.   appreciation.   the lion said.
       you are me, the lion said aloud, being literal.

       every morsel.   all the way to the end.

no less a noble life, becoming me.
see my feet my legs.   how swift I am.
        fanned into flame.

       I am a grounded bird.   hovering.
       here I am.   on your lap.   you are my nest,
       she spoke to me.
every day is another prayer.   a circle drawn.
       a question framed.

       toes kept inside the rounded thought.
       wet nose on a cold dry night.   familiar.

       then some rain.

when I didn’t die

pneumonia in Nevada in the snow.   frozen diapers
outside on the line.   I got over it but it left me with
a leaning into cough.   mother said, never happened,
but.   that’s not what my body says to me.

when I could’ve been trampled by elephants.   there
was this guy, two, three times a week he’d rub a stone
on the street corner lamp post.   why so, I asked of him.
to keep the elephants away, he said.   some thought him
odd, but gotta say, yea, no elephants, not one.
when that relationship became a fork.   you know the
one.   the one that went the other way.   like smoke,
me following.   felt like dying, didn’t it.   over and over.
some seeds, harder than others are.   I didn’t die.

when being lost felt like being dead.   but,
       I didn’t die when I died.

every day is being on the brink.

     now.   still now.

when words arrived like leaves.
when I was afraid.
when I smiled.
when you smiled at me.   I didn’t die.
     look, really look

Pneumatic Arts Flying Trapeze Arise Festival 2019
Cogi Haggerty   Nat Street   Blair Aued   Jordan Tribble

Live,  Love,  Fly   an act called, “Consciousness”
if you’re wondering, poem came first, then the pictures.

a deal with Chaos

          my god, there are stars inside.
these hands, they foster doubt.   don’t stand too close.

pointing the path where we meet.   coincident.

reconciliation needs must pause until.   contemplate.

no, not lonely being apart.   lies.   like this.

where have all the flowers gone,

          they sang.   a strangers voice.   a crowded bus.

          each ticket buys a memory.   recursively.

here, on a mountaintop, this much closer to you.

          a myth I tell myself.

not unhappy, standing alone.   more lies.   like this.

trade for half a candy bar.   sweet teeth.

camel-hair smells like dog when wet.

sometimes a blanket, call this shadow home.

no doubt about what’s left behind,

          one birdhouse and

          something else.

but I forget.    that’s the deal.