AMERICAN RED CROSS

 

CERTIFIES THAT [your patron ghost]  HAS SUCCESSFULLY COMPLETED REQUIREMENTS FOR LIFEGUARDING [Date completed: 05/17/2014 the first known sighting of our patron ghost] WITH COMPREHENSIVE UNDERSTANDING OF THE ACRONYMS FA/AED/CPR/EAP [valid 2 years between each festival of our patron ghost]

cement cold as cathedral walls
complete with a ten-foot vat of holy water you may piss in only if you pass the swim test
please be seated for the reading
it’s one thing to prepare to hold your breath it’s another to be suddenly underwater
please stand to recite the location of the automated external defibrillator

twelve laps with your sweats on go
then you may take turns three sets of thirty
dripping clouds of chlorinated incense amongst the congregation
do my eyes look red?–they sure sting and you look blurry
cross your chest compressions

PLEASE STAND

cardio pulmonary resuscitation
cardio pulmonary restitution
kardia pneuma recitative
­           this is the heart // prepare a poultice of figs dewed with milky sap
­                   take and eat and give thanks
­          this is the spirit // pour the fermented amber hopped to a frothy head
­                   drink from it and give thanks
­                            or wait is it the other way around
­                   give thanks before you hey wait
­          come back and give
thanks i’m not waving i’m

PLEASE BE SEATED

she blows her whistle screaming
activate the EAP
shoot how does this one go again
emergency action

i’m not waving i’m

at what point does the person on scene engage in CPR

i wake up after midnight in another coughing fit
choking out watery spit
the leftovers still sloshing my lungs from the time you held me under

i was waving my arms like Hey remember?
we were blanketed on your couch like Hey you can crash for the night
and i was leaning in like Hey i think you’re beautiful all right

like Hey this is completely normal right
and your hand behind my head like Hey you’ve caught my attention
like Hey you’re close to something i wouldn’t mind loving
after you paused to ask You ok? like Hey are you having a hard time breathing or something
and i said Yeah i’m fine like Hey come closer
when it should’ve been Wait i’m not sure like Hey be gentle i’m honestly on the verge of breaking

right there! first, it happened where i let myself out of your car that night and made you promise me you wouldn’t pretend / the next morning i found some of myself shattered in the cracks of the driveway

i kept collecting more pieces in weird places, crumpled and strewn
— a broken vertebra in my pillowcase, my shoulder blade in the kitchen sink
shards of ribs, scattered around on the trail i use to walk to work
and right beneath that bay laurel tree over there, shavings of skin and muscle tissue

i don’t even want to talk about what i found under the bench the same one where we sat down together under a sunlit redwood fairy ring / under your dark serene gaze so you could state how you weren’t really in the business of looking for the rest of me

your hands on my shoulders like This won’t hurt a bit no bruising no bleeding

your hands on my shoulders like Try to hold your breath as long as you can underwater

A landlocked alternative for jumping in the surf

arrives in the form of simple extension and compression
while the kelp forest sways idly in the underwater lull
you’re a six-foot swell on the horizon

air bubbles in the synovial fluid crackle under the surface of my spine
tugged by the pressure of a tidal energy // your arms a double overhead barrel
closed out by open palms curling in

:: i keel into unity with water anatomically, the energetic housing of chaos coiling head over heels, swirling throughout frothy endless vigor till i level steady an inspiration for air, a receiving ::

a burst of calm.
endorphins releasing in the happiest of exorcisms.

my freckles smile bright washed by the sun and saltwater
the shore ebbs // “you smell like the ocean,” you say in an exhale and ensue
the radius and ulna and humerus relaxing till the tide goes out

welcome to the butterfly pavilion, i’ll be happy to answer all of your butterfly questions today

the magnificent flying sunset we all know as monarch butterflies were previously scheduled to begin arrival at their migratory destination :: the only monarch preserve in the state of avocado california namely in the region of natural bridges state beach of santa cruz rest in peace jay moriarity where many will come to gaze upward and most likely agape at the fluttering group-hug clusters forming orange cities in the ever insightfully fragrant yet invasive eucalyptus roosts allowing these milkweed tigers refuge to stay warm and beautiful:: this october.

however in a surprising turn of events a rather large tribe of monarchs have veered off course from their traditional sojourn and made landing in the nearby redwood town of felton floating in descent with remarkable aggression into their new-found and notably visceral habitation :: namely the stomach as well as swarming in and out of my windpipe the frontal lobe of my cerebral cortex and mysteriously the superior vena cava :: in a markedly early arrival amidst the fading moments of september to be exact.

Try your best to remember the sun is just another star

you entered          —          slowly.          interrupting

The first time we met I stood peeking out from behind the incense cedars and you were cloud-scattered sunlight flickering through the branches.
Told me your mother named you Spear-Strength and I returned that my mother named me after the cold Pacific White Waves.

Traces of Apollo in your blood fire springing from your brow and I notice you pop out a cigarette to light whenever we get to the top of a mountain. Curry recipe in your hands and spurs clicking the ground at your heels with a red paisley cowboy kid look in your eyes. I seem to keep getting in your way in the kitchen.

smelling of:      smoked paprika     fresh-baked bread     basket of wildflowers

The steel carabiners clink together like wind-chimes hung from our waists.
Tied in to the stony crag where I hear you say I’m strong.

After three years I’m taking my vengeance on the split granite dome and when I finally reach the top I find you waiting like Sampson fast asleep but you jerk awake easily when I touch your hair and I start to wonder why I have the tendency to want to wake you up.

figure-eight knots         eight-spotted          american forester          american kestrel

Tying feathers to my elbows and ankles I’ve got a nature to run into the sunset clouds to keep my legs from getting too restless at night.
I know that in the end I’ll be running back through the doors every time but you’ve got a different type of restlessness don’t you and when I do come running back through the doors sweaty and red like I’d been chased by one of my recent nightmares you jump up with your guitar playing like you wanted to make me dance and singing like “It’s okay it was just a bad dream just go back to sleep.”

And after the day you told me “I know what it’s like to fall through the ice” I started thinking about how I could tell you that I know what it’s like because I’ve fallen through the ice too.

alternative folk    //      bluegrass punk     //     americana     //     new wave post-hardcore

Taking night walks to the docks to clear the noise from our heads got me thinking about the day we met and how you looked at me like sunlight.
But you’re not the sun are you at least not in the sense of the springtime sunlight warming our faces but more like one of those pictures captured in space that we have to dim to see on a screen more like one of those pictures of a rough molten sphere so turbulent it bursts in flares at least every other day and I’m catching your reflection glances because I’m the moon phasing full churning up the tides into this rip current catching us red-handed.

When we dance we light up the sky.

the same           universe            for the brief           —

So we will mostly undress.
You started asking me about where I got my oceanid veins and I said it’s all about learning to kiss the face of chaos to catch a pure breath of peace but that’s when I started to remember I needed to come up for air.

See I’ve got this wild habit of keeping my foot off the brake when I’m driving the downhill curves and (I think I’m getting better at it but) every now and then I crash (turn and burn) and now (for five straight days) you’ve set forest fires on my mind so when you find the words to ask me how I slept last night I honestly gotta say that my spine aches from whiplash and I honestly gotta say that I’ve felt it before (hit and run). All I want to hear you promise me you won’t leave without saying goodbye.

please          watch your step! on         your way out of           the garden