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Chapter for Removing Foolish Speech from the Mouth

Tuning in again to the long elaborate
talk of the dead, ear held to a glass held
to what’s left of the world, I let them
lullaby me back to where it all got under-
way: sick day centered on a little bed,
papered walls my sphere, birdsong’s
infinite punctures in air like tickertape
from the branches’ fine interweaving.
I don’t think to worry here whether half-
truths and music serve to reveal truth
or else only confuse it as stiff breezes
prove emphatic with their first purple
hyacinth and diesel. To what extent
stating a truth implies an endorsement
or when to embrace mere statement
means calling it true. I name the bees
sun’s diplomats to an embassy of flowers
whether neighbors want me to or not.
Latest clouds in apricot coach my lips
through wordless chants against a purr
fuming from the nearby textile factory.
I’m not moving a muscle. Any exercise
to the tune of work will have to wait
for habit’s stratocumulus to overcast this
puny light and need to stuff my mouth
with bargain cottons. When I’m done
I will be done, and the dead will come
riding their bone boomerang to return
me to that vertical life: tentative at first,
then all at once, as one might remove
red bandages at night, hands dutifully
maneuvering me forward as they take
me to task for having squandered so much
time on that sinkhole reverie I might
have invested in real estate or futures.