You start from scratch
and play a note
don’t know where this one ends
and where the next one goes.
You’ve built a fortress in your head,
complete with cannons and a moat.
Epics and odysseys
swim in your eyes,
and orchestras play symphonies
in your toes.
You imagine a Rube Goldberg machine
catapulting thought-shapes into words into images into your magnum opus.
You brew them,
turn them inside out.
Leave spaces between the sounds
and whistle over your words,
think they will meld
into a castle pushing up the clouds
on mist-framed mornings.
And then you open your eyes.
The bricks slip and slide,
the pipes flatten,
corners replace arches,
and the spaces in the ramparts
look like the gaps in an old man’s toothy smile.
is a stack of Jenga blocks
whose curve looks like that of a spine.
put a shroud over the assembly,
and imagine a new fortress.
you leave this one uncovered,
and even as the tower challenges gravity,
you hold a block,
your tense hands defying tremors,
and you nudge it in.
You don’t breathe out too hard.