ISHI

square tongues   speak brick words

      that couple into nothing,

      surrounded by hair and flowers.

 

decay of fruit and love and sex,

      all subside

                              into chemical contemplation,

            alcohol and buzzing bees,

              sweet sticky scents.

 

                  police machineschop the sky                                              

                  into thistles of noise and fear—

 

I pick up and carry a river on my back,

a cloak of home

              to drape across

                  the shoulders of the world,

                   enfolding streams and stones.

 

glaze of bone

across my eyes,

a hood of silence,

 

  my tongue of salt

  dissolving into words

  I speak to you.

Pleasure Boat Studio, New York, 2012.

The full text of Scott Ezell's poem-cycle "Ishi" is posted on Jerome Rothenberg's Poems and Poetics site.