—for Liêm Vũ Đức
I am the animal between a dream and a bathhouse
dreamer. I am the animal between your legs.
I put together a world in demand as pleasure.
[Consider: the steam cools down, forgets to soothe.
Consider: the steam is my breath.]
I am the animal you left in an island
twenty years ago I could leave where I am
and still be the animal you left just now.
I am the animal you don’t want to see.
Always I am the animal who dreams so much
I see you everyday. Hello there. Feed me.
I am the animal you know very well.
[Spill the adventure song. Let the tactical dance. Spread your home,
your absence, the abyss in everything beautiful.]
I am the animal who groups chandelier clouds
to form a fist and punch a plane inside which is my
mister animal who has yet to know he is my name.
I am the animal who groups chandelier clouds to form
a punch, a plane, a crash. Something saying debris here,
fragments there, your lover in the form of a vacant dream.
I am the animal who wants to assemble and be assembled.
I group things, I form something, I punch my animal
self with the biography I’d like to believe I could finish
living. Because I am the animal promised to have a life.
I wish you all the best, I tell my hurt.
[Insert those who precede. Insert rhythm and a violence that teaches it.]
I am the animal who stands inside a bus. I imagine
a murderous smile. I am the animal who knows everything
about a bus jam-packed by imagined passengers except
how to sit for a murderous smile. I am that rhubarb standing
all the time. I am the animal who waits to be taken on and
down. I am the animal who believes one of these terrorists
has learned to be you. My name is here and I will follow you.
[If the unconscious were a wild boar, listen. How the mind of lone-
liness revises me. How my mind revises you like a tooth above fire.]
I am the animal inside a telephone booth.
I am the animal who leaves my mobile phone
a message. I am the animal who would say
there’s another punishment at home preparing the attic
in a time most infinite to dejection, especially to love.
I listen to quotes and inhabited jungles. I am the animal who receives
all my wisdoms. If I could unlearn them. If I could learn.
[Choose another name for me and speak it above my wound
that is your final self. Then, let the hospital flowers bloom again.]
I am the animal who dreams to be the animal that bites its owner.
I am the animal who should not die unless you are healed.
I am the animal and you are not healed. I am. You are.
- photo by Jacques Smit