Some days I leave my arms at home
to give other people the chance to show me
how to conduct a symphony.
I am an owl in many ways
but most of all in the way I like to be alone at night
staring out my window
sitting on my tree branch
waiting for the field mice to come to me.
When I look at the hairs on my legs
I see thousands of tiny trees and I think about
the day each seed was planted.
I think about the way I am so very large
because I am one billion things so small.
I have a hard time with spiders
because I don’t want to kill them and
I know that I am ultimately unimportant to them
but I feel them crawling up my leg in bed
and when I look they’re never there
but my vulnerability is sometimes counter-intuitive
to my survival instinct
there is a certain amount of acceptance of death
that comes along with trust.
I refill ice trays in the freezer like a madman
like some great fleshy robot filled
with a singular algorithm to make sure there is never
one moment where this house will be without ice.
I don’t drink enough water.
In the middle of the twilight I talk to ghosts.
They carry all these stories about regret and war
and I’m just trying to sing myself
to sleep with songs of faith and renewal
but they clean their guns on the edge of my bed
and sometimes I like to swim
on top of their uneasy oceans.
I papercut my finger
on my contract to myself
and when the blood begins to run
I put it beneath the cold water faucet
and watch as it pours down the drain
and sometimes the water rises
and the sink fills up and the bathroom floods
until I’m underwater in my apartment
scuttling along like a crab
on the warped wood floor
but I do not drown, I sleep best in rip tide.
I dance in disaster.
Sometimes I fall asleep to radio static.
There is a room so quiet you can hear your blood
in your veins and the silence will drive you mad they say.
I talk so loud about how good I am at silence.
How American it is to always know what to say and that’s the thing.
I think I’m an auditory citizen of the world until it gets quiet
and I can hear the national anthem reminder
that I don’t know how to sight read a page of rest symbols.
I dance like I am protesting dancing,
Like if I flail my arms enough they’ll call it satire.
When I dance with women I follow their hips
and pretend I am so keen to the difference between
control and influence.
Sometimes I get stuck in the middle of a poem
and I don’t know how to end it.
Sometimes I’ll get real cute
and just throw out a one-liner like something
Oscar Wilde would say at a cocktail party
but sometimes I’ll just take a minute to be in it.
I’ll walk around the poem like an empty apartment
opening the closets looking for clues about
the person who lived here before
and sometimes I’ll find that there’s nothing but
wire hangers in the closet
or sometimes I’ll run out screaming
chased by skeletons
BRICE MAIURRO is a poet and writer from Denver, Colorado. He is the Editor-In-Chief of South Broadway Ghost Society and the Poetry Editor of Suspect Press. His second collection of poems, Hero Victim Villain, will be out June 24th, 2019 through Stubborn Mule Press. You can find more about him at http://www.maiurro.co.