D’aller là-bas vivre ensemble!/Aimer à loisir,/Aimer et mourir/Au pays qui te ressemble!
–Charles Baudelaire

I’m bleeding out on the Green
and there are ass bandits standing by waiting for someone better
with a hole less unpredictable, less full of teeth and silent screams.
I am bleeding out on the Green waiting
for a whole human being to emerge. But it’s too soon.
Maybe I am that human. Maybe you are half of it.
Maybe there’s nothing even
about what we might make.
Maybe I’m making human being
seem too important.

Workers are tossing gold geraniums into a barrel.
pulling them whole from the ground
and I keep seeing the same guy
wearing a dog collar everywhere I go. He has mud
on his velvet boots and he looks me in the eye
as if to say the mud is old mangoes and the mud is old
hearts and the mud is old books that I gave away or let rot.

There is space and there
is space
I tell you.

And there is disgrace.

In Germany they scrub out
their trashcans.

Old nature didn’t ask for this.
To be the receptacle of our fantasies. Old nature didn’t say
pick me to be the woman
turned into a map and charted and uncharted
for the sake of what you think you don’t know.
Her mons pubis is the treasure land and her breasts the entryway.
A good thing cartographers knew something about foreplay.

I am bleeding out on the Green
and the Green could be anywhere
suffused with whatever meaning I say.

Like the Green is Florida’s sea grape trees
with roots that trip me up as horseshoe crabs
flee my heavy Fleurs du mal step
and old women toss grapes into a bowl to make
sea grape jelly to scrape onto crackers for schoolchildren
to make them see the land is important, to keep them from building
more high rises, and boating over more manatees
and refusing to turn out their lights that make turtle
hatchlings march toward Wal-Mart
instead of the sea.

Or the Green is St. Stephen’s in Dublin
where cops with long coats once shielded
men pissing straight liquor onto the grass
but never the women with blood on their thighs.
The best I could do is enter a pub
where the snug’s walls have been taken down
now that women can be trusted to mingle
in the whole space and order their drinks at the bar
instead of through a little window with a sliding door.
But the snug is in my mind as they say.
A painful dialectic. The snug
is where you cut yourself down to half. Where you say no
to half, where you can say anything at all, and it’s
of no consequence. There is space and there is
space I say. A useful dialectic. The snug is where you go
to talk about bleeding out on the Green. The snug is where you go
and keep yourself on guard. The snug is only in my mind. It’s not real.
Right. I can do anything, go anywhere
and no one will touch me. Least of all when I am bleeding
out on the Green. Least of all when I am the old woman
picking sea grapes. Least of all when I am helping nature refuse.
When I am taking this blood right out.
When I am taking out a whole human. Being. Or a half. My half.

Or the Green is generality. As though that’s possible.
The Generalife gardens of the Alhambra
where the flowing water is louder
than my mind where the snug is still built
louder than the ping of sea grapes
in the metal bowl. Step onto the Green.
Bleed out. Breathe out. In.