line by line

How you made me want to be beautiful,
to gather my hair up
and stain my lips with beetroot

How you made me buoyant
seaworthy
like we could captain
all the small ships in the harbor,
the hard-drinking men would cheer us
from the docks,
raising their bottles as you unmoored my hair
and let it spill all over us. Brown.

Brown. All skin + hair + eyes
and the brown earth on which you took
everything
that you had come for.

In the morning, Joni Mitchell on the
record player –
as if anyone could recover from that.

You wanted me
You wanted me gossamer
            imaginary
            illuminated

How you made me want to be intermodal
to map all the points
of intersection:
            the train station timetable
            the number of coins in your pocket
            the mural on the wall we walked past on that street where all the windows
were shuttered and boarded, a carousel
the garish horses with flowers tied into their manes the leather straps
they held in their wet open mouths

How you made me remember my amber-washed childhood
picking up candy from the sidewalk
as the parade float glided past
all giddy with trumpets and mechanical bears.

You made me a shadowbox.
You made me the smallest glass replicas of the smallest glass houses
you could manage and then you washed them
at the ocean’s edge where the waves broke
at our feet.

No matter. I am finished with the beetroot
and the small ships and all the sticky candies
the dancing horses and the loose coins and
we – all of us –
know
what happens in glass houses

You sleep. You rise by the ocean
and let the gray fog
tunnel through you.

Sailboat.
Motorboat.
Bridge of wire and wind

How you made me, line by
line.
& word
by luminous
word.