Homesick Poem

By Denise Dooley

Milkmouthed I sleep claw towards you:
so certainly my heart remembers
your direction in the dark.

My heart simply swings open the ribcage
and leaves. Sure but still at first too slippery,
oh shes so clumsy,
too quick for herself,
knocking candles off the nightstand
and kicking out windows.

Outside fast loping on artery legs
she's chewing up ground and yelling
your name in all the plazas.
Listen: do you hear her?
Course not. Your ears are full.
You are running the tap, bleaching the sinks
starting the car. Thats ok, thats for the best.

Hey! So loud, scattering pigeons,
winging after you, setting off all the alarms.
Cats hiss at her but then, they hiss at
any running thing.

On and on until in sight of the water
she spider pauses,
catching sadness full. It catches her
it takes her water. You have felt this
before when your mouth went dry, when
you went so solid. How badly the sea
wants to be up there with all those steamy
clouds and their moon center! It topples her.

Evaporation point passed she is only a small
rock sitting at the edge of the wharf: drying out,
the smaller veins brittle up and snap,
and she is so confused.
Like any cornered things she retreats then starts to climb.

A slow pull up the side of a high rise,
balcony to balcony and sticking to the windows,
people would see it but she is vine still, the speed of
growing, you can remember it happening
but never really see.
Later they'll recollect, say it to the neighbor in
the lobby, "I saw something,
it only barely blocked my view."

Sapped now, and worn, and nearly stiff
she sloth clamors up tv antennas
braids her miles of arms through wires
and gives out.

In the morning floors and floors of
televisions make only blue squares.
The residents flip and flip.
A bit of light is all, on every channel, again.

They'll send the repairman up after her,
he'll pry her off and call me,
I'll take the bus and he'll hand me whats left in
a shopping bag,
I'll apologize profusely, I'll stammer,
I'll promise never again, I swear to remember to lock up.