&

DH

I –

Shabbier than usual
Not much whereabouts
Put a call in,
‘Meet me wouldn’t you
This evening by the trees,’
Where the road hangs and the river
Ruptures to become mountains
And the camp you built
Out of packing cases
Stands in.

‘And if you beat me to it
Come up with some names wouldn’t you
Whatever settles you as comfortable.
Send me a picture.’
I have this photograph
Waiting for you with my phone
Some tree in winter
Articulated by an office building.
Not much.
Nowhere really.

SV

Shabbier than I am. His onesie
covered with the smashed peas
of his brother. Scarf over his mouth:
I am a bad man. He says. I am a man
who drinks coffee. He says. Some tree
in winter becomes
the tree that should be cut down
with the tree cutter train. Says the bad man.
One tree in winter, he says,
becomes its needles, and then,
its hole.

And if you are comfortable,
mascara covering his chin for the beard;
the road outside hangs itself
from the sky which is where, the bad man says,
the dragon is ruptured of the mountain.
I am a nice dragon. Says the nice dragon.
I will take care of you. Says the dragon.
The mountain does rupture, I tell him.
And the road will hang. The road, I said,
holding the shabbier little baby, that you stand in.

DH

‘Merely Circulating’

The poem is you                 needs be
And we can be cool about it
In the slow moments 
Of an August afternoon,
Nobody comes and 
Therefore the place you built
Remains impregnable,
Out of sight 
No such           evidence of circumstance
Only clothes 
You stood up in.
And maybe the poem can only say standing 
Nowhere in the reckoning
Where the road hangs
And the river 
Ruptures to become the plain,
But the truth is 
Having that coke with you
Was a contract between us,
A document
Not anybody witnessed
No such         name.

SV

No such August afternoon, and no
clothes stood up in.      Is your memory of the river
also like mine. The river in August dropping 
below the stones of its bed. The truth is
I don't know if it can still be called a river, 
underground. Truth is, the places 
built and rivers remembered are never
impregnable: children, the truth is, are never ruptured
beneath the clothes never stood up in.
Is it worth documenting this loss.
For no one to remember anything, and I'm ashamed to say
I can't stop being happy. The plains
contracting with the ruptured mountain.
Volcano, says the boy, of the smashed 
dragon. The boy of whom the earth--
do we have to love what we have done?--
has no such memory.

DH

Or isn't the truth we dropped everything to have that coke
Not much whereabouts to speak of
No such August afternoon
Though it was the city
That much we could name
And this was a way we'd come
To articulate happiness
Call it improvising on the evidence
Needs be.
And truth be told what we need surely 
Is a new kind of document equal
To the places we constructed between us
Where the road hangs and the river 
Drops below the stones so we can
Know it at least as witness
Adequately call it.         Phrase the affect
To have, to hold, the Habeas
Corpus of just stepping out, hanging
At the side of the track a mark
Of everything we've done together
Persons    present according
After names keep.

SV

Where the road hangs and the river
drops below the stones we could become
unafraid of being understood.       Even by children
screaming about the wrong coat worn, 
the wrong hat lost. With no words, they are understood.
The documents/     the lists of people/     the maps
with lines from city to city/     the ledger with numbers
up and down and left and right and merchants
who keep track: this, and we are all still happy 
to kiss the screaming children. Kiss them! Kiss them!