after James Wright

Before me these days, carnivorous air, torn bandanna masks, infectious journalists pale as boiled beef, noxious tangerines, ominous bow ties, children asking to sleep in my bed so no one will come through their window and steal them away, bloody nail marks on my cheeks, deep ulcers in my stomach. Behind me, always behind me, a door like the mouth of a cave in the air, an entrance to a tunnel, a tunnel to an infinite ocean of cool saltwater, an ocean between me and an impossible tower circled by mother animals minding their own business yet waiting to guide me safely onto the land, a tower holding at its summit a jewel that bursts in infinite directions with a light that leads and heals and holds every single color of light within itself and radiates like a star on the head of a nail and is not any tan man in robes and sandals and is not a fat detached bald man smiling ignorantly and is not a one-eyed Aryan pirate king or a man with the head of a jackal and is not an empty void but is in fact a living pulsing thing that takes the shape of everything and anything and is all things and no things and runs through all veins and when I say all veins I mean every single vein of black man white man Inuit Chinese Aboriginal lion Kodiak bear Appalachian coal seam Oklahoman oil vein rain forest desert troughs and python Pomeranian pelican porpoise and every single purpose is a single purpose which is to return here, to breathe deep this burning light, absorb and be absorbed, remember just how goddamn singular this all is, how I may be a cell in the big toe and my brother next door may be a cell in the eyebrow but we’re all one body sick or thriving dying or alive we are all one warm glow of light able to hold hands and spread as far as we can imagine, but only as far as we can reach together.