epilogue of morning

by Zachary Caballero

every morning I make a decision
to wake up
or not

sleep has always been my way of
keeping my body and its proud insides
from spilling out the front door
gone with the garbage man
but today is different

I bought books, made dinner,
gulped water, sipped coffee,

drove with the windows down

shook hands
like rain clouds meeting spring, eager
like a trombone refusing to hold its breath

the only thing I am guilty of is letting go

when it comes to leaving,

there is a field in my chest

where my lovers voices refuse to rest

their overgrowth stalks my future harvest

& under all of me, 
a mysterious blue
ensemble of lost mercy,
refusing to

will someone come away with me


there are sundials on my feet

showing me where the 
dark is going to be

we do not have to go there, there,
where there are no bodies swinging through other bodies
in the name of dance

and no one knows this but

deep in the heart of
all my exes is an empty swing
dancing all by its lonesome
lost in a park where all the honest trees
forget to reach back for me

my dear, I have to tell you
if I am ever a stone’s throw away
from being swallowed by sorrow’s river sheen,
remind me of the consequences,
what happened last time
when I went down under
to bargain the air and
kept forgetting to say please

my dear,
whisper trumpets if you must
boil the brass off my knuckles
down to pearl dust,
cover this solitude with shiny rustlove,

shucks, shut me up,

the world is a chargrilled oyster
and every day I order
the lackadaisy wonder
that leaves my muscles morsels
we used to cusp like folklore
growing on our grandmother’s kitchen floor
the tile, a Miles Davis kind of blue,

every story I have is a jazz dream
where nothing rhymes with love 

but you

trust me when I say
do not sing me like a song

hum me like morning fog
recovering from all the night’s wrongs

hum me like a secret longing, a saxophone churning,
bird-jazz jabbering out on my front lawn

all those trees
practically impossible
when it comes to harmony but
how the branches sway homily

I wonder if the birds know
I am under their wing’s spell

my dear,
I could not tell what forces
the dark to melt off morning’s sundress,
whether trombones
or my bones
is what stirs up light
but the history of what happens in my head
has felt and been so much
of what I cannot tell or dispel

some things never leave until they’re ready
but this morning I left my bed with my head

and the world wasn’t dead
only dying
to see me