The Beautiful Anxiety
By Jill Jones
The paths are full of iron and stars.
Who does not welcome all this
black, burning with misplaced rain?
If it’s reported that islands have gone
missing, remember how seas love us
and trail in our blood.
If there’s too much of a ghost now
upon the clouds, a wing, a roar
none of that will open
the dead to this world again.
There’s nothing purely accidental
in your edgy condition.
Damage seems almost a necessity.
If there’s beauty in patina, it’s here
not just waiting for the cracks
in the permanent. It’s subcutaneous
like a language that entered you
without stamps of approval.
You step out with your necessity
because nothing will grow within
houses for too long.
Your sandals and heels, your capped toes
they are some kind of assurance
along with the belated rain, whose water
slaps the ridges of your song.
Each tree that wasn’t there before
each element or fibre, the occasional feather
or slip of whitened excrement
the glassy tips of plastic that flutter
as you pass, they are places.
Hands have admitted them
and their appearances
have depended on each isobar and swell
of time zones.
You must be going elsewhere
see how it skews the horizon and adds
something green to the temperature.
There are instruments for this
kind of knowing, along with bright machines
moving tonnage along temporary roads.
But if you can still turn your hand around
the rain and touch skin’s rearranging
of its walking —
and distinguish the cold of it, dropt on
sun shadows within the petrochemical hum
it’s erotic scent, a ghost of ash
passing stars, and a kind of subliminal speech
among legends of flowers and birds, roses
of the place where the phoenix plays
that useless search within the art of speech
to fly amongst lost things again
the long road from the north
hard sails built out of trawl.
There’s never time to know
yourself. That’s the beautiful anxiety
of moving, as each gutter, each wing
each clip, or semiconductor
the air dripping through your skeleton
your fur that scares easily, as it all
seems to be crashing.
The air moves history into history.
You look where leaves hold the light
skin holds the light
edges hold the light.
Nothing holds on