Is it fog or sea spray
The pink moon
or the green trees?
His eyes, across the fire,
Remember: a lightning-struck tree
What you did dream? His English, bent—
I did dream. What I did:
a white moth,
in my hair,
neck just kissed.
Remember: the tree at Watermill among others much taller. Its spiraling trunk.
Lips like wind, imperceptible. Remember:
how do you feel
a year? I drew a circle
with smaller circles in it. The biggest:
the overarching feeling. Its smaller
compartments: those and
that which moved me to different degrees
within the over-
Before the eclipse, I find myself sitting on another tree, face to the sun
as it sets. An hour passes. Another. Watch two white moths circle
each other. Hovering spiral / halo
the brooding dove
stretched over sea
San Juan / marijuana in thunderstorm
/ candied guava
/ agave pooled
Atlantic olive branches
cathedral in a car
A young girl in white, surrounded by men, dancing bomba.
Remember, please, my body on pillows.
And the party goes on. Spin: like a beam of light evaporating into dusk.
Some rural road in Pennsylvania: I smoke in the passenger seat, windows rolled down,
red glitter sunglasses on. The wind carries my hair, lifts open my skull—fluid as dust,
as algae in the Montauk tide. Ask: what is more human than loss? What, humane?
My skull: water, dust, moss, dusk?
Overcome in the garden, I inhale, exhale,
he says, fingers
like moths on my shoulders.
(Is it like dusk or like dawn?
Through Flying Point
I overflow. Drink
ginseng and mint, cheeks flushed from steam. Gin,
sing, give me the wind. Give—
this present my past.
Is it descending light, sea salt, bourbon-bloom, ice-melt?
stay awake long enough for a telephone call
from light, the lighthouse, tout ce qui brille—
poetry. Give us back the situations of our dreams. 1
I dance: slow-
moving as molasses
charged by static, sunset
/ cry to projections of Lou Reed’s
voice into green / sway
under stars, hypnotized—O
Molasses, I dance until sunrise, loose-limbed,
eat blood-purple carrots at the beach.
Ice cubes in my palms, O, give—
these woods, they know your name, your—
(in a dream, say Here: this is where I kiss you)
into the ocean
dressed in black lace
walk back to shore
sand a sanctuary I
pray to carry
dreams (and scream
to trees at night,
still screaming a silk-
Be Tender 2—
wearing these voices always
around my waist going down
spreading sea foam
/ hands outstretched
I watch an elderly man tease the tide
by approaching the sea, darting away
when too-big waves roll forward. Crash
around his knees. How humble his legs,
Tender, the party goes on.
I’ve been dreaming (remember).
He drives us to a party in the woods of Long Island,
down an hours-long and spiraled road. To the swimming
pool full of plastic flowers. The green couch on the green
grass. It’s better like this, he says, not kissing.
Driving. Faster. Feels like swimming, or flying,
the windows rolled down.
What I did / who I love
I fly, swim, cradle, contain.
Moths trace circles on my skull, his finger-flight—
(Is it molasses or silk in the wind?)
abducted into another realm. 3
the brooding dove
/ Super 8
/ cinnamon roll
/ gasoline this
stretched / Friday
entering: Fog Area
Is it Green Mountain Road
or Wild Mountain Thyme?
Is it—I know a man in Galilee
/ I know a saxophone
humming through the lonesome valley.
Tell me who you love.
South Bend—I sing like it’s my church
past Fawn River, Yellow River, Barbie and Napoleon roads. Listen to Rodrigo Amarante’s “The Ribbon,” crickets out-
side. Traffic of fog.
Ask: what is more unbending than loss? What—unyielding?
Is it dusk or dawn? The party—
If I had
a ribbon bow
afloat on ship-
less oceans / To hide
my hair / Did all
my best to smile
if I had a fancy
sash / ‘Til your singing
eyes and fingers / Drew me
loving to your isle 4
He would find me fair,
glitter / sail to me / sail to me—
enfold. Would wish that
I sing, flooded red, mountain-wound of being, here I am
(here I am)
Did I dream he dreamed of me?
And fair with smile? Now
my foolish dove
my red glitter dancing
/ black lace
/ sea foam
/ Touch me not, touch me not,
O my heart, tender I’d lark—
1 Gaston Bachelard, The Poetics of Space
2 Laurie Anderson, the Watermill Center, July 2017
3 Walter Benjamin “Sketched in Mobile Dust”
4 Lyrics from “Ribbon Bow” by Karen Dalton and “Song to the Siren” by Tim Buckley
AM Ringwalt is a writer and musician. She makes “morphine folk” with Fawn and co-curates Petoskey Memory. Her words most recently appeared in Hobart, Vinyl and Rogue Agent. Like Cleopatra, Ringwalt’s debut poetry chapbook, was published by dancing girl press.