I sleep atop the homeless man in the alley
sink deep into him
say "I have arrived"

at most times I am many people
and I love them all

at other times I am just me
and my love cannot be smaller

outside these windows a prairie made of rubble
I want to give every word the same weight as hallelujah
I want to turn a light bulb until the room spins with it

your hat is not a halo and my soul bears no witness
to what has been described as love in every tongue
love describes itself
it says I have a mother and I have a father
it speaks without need for belief

God does not depart as easily as night arrives
elsewhere a homeless man is cutting shadows into a leaf
letting shadows drip well away from the duty of life

at times I give myself too much credit
really I should be holding my cell phone up to the sun
letting the sun tell you about its fire
how it came to be how it will one day erupt into absence taking us with it

my brother is not an astronaut
though I have often described him as such
he once told me that in space one does not think of God
one feels nothing
he says this and his voice interrupts the air
and I say where did all that air go when your voice moved it
and he'd say stop thinking only of yourself
you never began
you just became aware that you're here
and you always have been

when a space shuttle leaves the atmosphere
the atmosphere becomes smaller
it's like if all life was extracted from the ocean
and the water level got lower and we found Atlantis
we'd remember that Atlantis was just a colony of tropical fish
and now they have been lifted away from us

it will be a long time before we fill the maybe of our day
quickness is another hymn sung, a paradox like
"speed this life along, get me to heaven sooner"
life sung underwater gurgled toward the sky

if I regret anything about love it's not doing whatever I can
to be the stupidest man alive
it's like I remembered to wear my wet suit
but found you at the bottom of the wrong pool
you are a still-living flounder growing old in my mind's film

my eyes continue to see
they continue to scan the universe
as little as they can scan
when I see a painting of a blossoming tree
I become upset at how real it can seem
on the way home I look for blossoming trees
even in winter even in winter dead

home I find
a video of a tree blossoming
and as video time is lapsed so lap the beats of my heart
pushing blood through the shores of my veins
no tree can be this real
no blood this mobile

if time is really a fabric I want to make that fabric into pants
and shit them completely brown
I want to stand forever under a traffic light
my time sprayed with the light of motion

I tell you my skeleton itches
you say then take it off
in every single way lightning is the spine of the storm revealing itself
telling us that we cannot fuck with this night
this night has been here for too long
in every single way it is becoming increasingly difficult
undress me to my skeleton with flesh-eating beetles
the sound of living static becoming louder as I am unmade
put my bones in a museum and label them and date them
tell the future I am here but no longer

shitting in my hand I tell you to smile
you smile and we are winning
you are the way you have always been
I am the way I have always been
my hand is no gutter it is a cup
the night not my lampshade
the stars are not golden they explode
and all of this forever amen


Daniel Bailey lives here and he is the author of everything. Here is where his presence manifests digitally:

Art: huecry of down right mean false sop lap sick dope (2012) by Sherri Hay.
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