My Sheets

I threw them in the machine
it whirs likewise I stir milk into my coffee mornings
my kitchen is cool I am free to think outside my window
on the open air where the tree was I hired a man to cut rotted with fungus
leaves fall repeatedly once only the tree all
ferments making other gardens full and sweet
with ambitions for flowers monarchs will find
in the light but straight flight lines of their migration
it’s October no monarchs a few dry bees rattle the husks
of my yard the order I guide through its season because flowers
like butterflies and thoughts are pretty and though stationary free
within the boundaries of their species soon it will be
the time of rest when growth ceases with lack of light while unseen
legions of bacteria earth’s first and last lie dormant
primordial in cold soil my patch of wild yarrow gone to seed for next year
no more balm for this year’s soldier’s wounds and the weed natives named
white man’s foot because it grows well in disturbed soil
its juice is good for cooling the burns I get when I’m careless
while I cook it works I tried and found that wisdom true
but as for the tree that was cut honey locust itself thornless
but dropped many seeds that grew if you let them into very thorny children
my coffee always grows cold when I’m alone like this
I know my sheets will soon be very clean
so many ways to stain them but namely white
yellows      red browns      they congeal
while sweat adds night after night’s layer of gradual grime
until Monday’s time to change them housework is my worship
I say to be ok with my lack of status in this world which I
believe to be the only one I say I’m glad to be human
with a longer tether than some able to think on such things
as why when hammered I got nailed or why should Jesus
matter when someone dies for sins every second of every day and why
should that man forgive and not they so many questions but
jerk that tether back
now heel patpat good girl yes and another tree cut
yesterday I saw the neighbor’s painted sign “free wood”
and I thought who has the need maybe for fun a cute campfire
but my furnace burns fossil fuel the deep machine’s needle pierce of earth’s crust to draw
from the black veins before god to draw from the womb
our beginning and end to our veins our engines our altars
now the energies of the consumed are born new
ancient life set on fire for our travel or warmth
each of us in our vehicles our separate homes
forming individual dreams of paradise never mind
the melting ice it is what everything live desires so
tree tell me what need have I of thee though my home may contain
a hearth it is decorative a place where no one gathers not even
to watch TV what does it have to do with me but
my machine has spun its final spin I finish
my cold coffee fold all away
until my sheets are dirty again

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