(for Matthew Savoca, 1945-1994)
Mid-March and the sky still buried
in the front yard,
I look out the window at the deer leading daylight
back into the woods—
Followed all winter by their own
tracks, they must know where the wind sleeps
and which tree the snow is
Today on the phone to Norway,
my cousin’s voice ruined
by AIDS and the freezing long-distance,
I kept slicing carrots and zucchini
and mixing Dr. Sorge’s Blood Rejuvenation
Powder and Rose Hip Formula with apple juice,
forcing the sludge down into my body
starved into the shapes of hypothermia
from three years
of Nardil and low blood sugars,
the background tape of the homeopathic maverick
Even single-celled organisms
turn to wood after eating pizza.
You must renounce white flour.
You must stop eating glue that tastes good.
March 23, 11 pm, 32 degrees,
my cousin talking to me in shreds,
I’m kept awake by winter dying under the blanket,
the thousand miles of bread and stone in my bowels,
and the deer leaving pellets of raisin meat,
the same wind that’s been trying
to eat since the Stone Age.
This year my cousin found himself a warm body
out in the sickness of snow.
Soon they will each strip down to their wilderness.
They will feed each other the flesh they’ve lost,
and whisper about the naked sleep
approaching from Denmark.
Together, they will learn to crawl again
over the hard tyrannosaurus frost.