if one string of words could contain anything like the dirt along a river where an entire town was decimated in world war two

the practice
of distillation

if one string of words
could contain 938 miles
some of which
roll out
along the edge of the continent
where the pacific
meets sand
rock cliff
palm tree
and the rubberburn smell
of strained brakes

if one string of words
could contain
my chest canyon
inching open
in the aftermath of the great earthquake
of pluot adventures
featuring spats
and open sky

and when you say
i want to stay with you
through shining eyes

following it up with
and i don’t

it is the ultimate
matter/anti-matter statement
of the summer
of 2010
and the most honest
bang-on thing
that could be said

if one string of words
could contain
the first time
i held a circular saw
in eight years
while you
kneel down on the 2 x 2s
to stabilize them
and while you use language
to guide and encourage me

if one string of words
could contain
how something as simple
as the tradition of thai food
on sunday nights
could break my heart open
while we order pad thai
and peanut tofu broccoli with white rice
to go
and it’s not even sunday
but i understand
what the last supper
might have felt like

if one string of words
could contain anything
like the dirt along a river
where an entire town
was decimated
in world war two
and if you ask
how to get there
no one can tell you
because no one seems to be able to remember a town
where now there are only fields and trees
and the stories
of struggle
and survival
unearth themselves there
over time
a pair of glasses with the lenses broken out
a wedding ring buried in a glass jar
a photograph protected
by the breastpocket it was found in

then i would save that string of words
in a plastic bag
labeled with today’s date
and i would press it into your palm
before you sail off
towards the i-8
soulship glittercaulked to the top of orick the trusty pluot
praying
that the mountain passes
are kind
to you
and that your return home
is the homecomingest return
you have ever sailed into
which may seem impossible
since you built part of your home
in my ribcage
as if my bones were branches
and your home is a nest of dried grass and mud