Sport 41: 2013
Hera Lindsay Bird — Planet of the Apes
If there is a designated point at which return
becomes of no return, so far is how far
I am always beyond it.
We sit in the rain of your hangover
and I tell you the story about my dead aunt
who spent her sixteenth year digging a giant hole
in the field behind her house and never said why.
Mark I love you.
I love you in the jittering shade of a historic windmill.
I love you standing in the water wearing the river
like an invisible pair of shoes. I love you here
at the beginning of your only life and almost gone
getting high on your porch, light drifting between us
like ghost sequins.
I’ve always never felt this way about anyone
but the way in which I’ve never felt about you
is a way of never feeling so new it’s somehow old
like a cave painting of a fax machine
or falling asleep in the attic of a spaceship.
You make me want to think of you in a sentence ending in again.
page 124 You make me want to find a collapsed mine shaft
I can call your name in while searching for you.
You make me want to tell you what you make me want
but what can I even say to you, riding a desk chair
through the afternoon like a medieval knight
of contemporary office furniture.
I don’t know what it means
to walk each night into a field alone
and dig, until you are standing in a hole so deep
you cannot be seen above ground.
I don’t know what it means to fall asleep on your porch
and wake with the illustrated guide to Planet of the Apes open in my hands.
I don’t know what it means to wake each morning and love you
and say nothing, as if saying nothing
was honesty’s default, or maybe just a way
for me to avoid the moronic things I need to tell you like
looking at you is like looking at a beautiful person far away
through a telescope that makes you seem the size you almost are
which is something I mean but don’t understand
like the new hieroglyphics of songbirds
or how the world in which I’m saying this to you
is already receding
that looking at you is like looking
backwards out the window of a slow moving helicopter
page 125 into the 19th-century cornfield of your face
which my historical inaccuracy
has suddenly emptied of birds.
You make my life feel the size of itself.
You make my life a burning craft
on some distant and unintended hillside.
Mark you are the pale green arm
of the Statue of Liberty
reaching up through miles of sand.