I know.

I know how things work.
And I do what living things do, too.
I respire. It's respiration— it's a process I could care less about,
but they tell me, "dear, it's cycles, it's Science,
it's all about Science these days. Learn to love it, too,
won't you?"

It's Science that knows how to ride a tricycle, and it's a little hefty sore
for a word that exists in seven letters that's stitched and shaped
into double tongues of drunken men.

And so, faithless men hold up their drinks,
and they worship, oh Science— oh Father—
we thank you
for the chemicals on trays,
and dead specimens in bins.

Well,
well, I haven't got so much of faith,
I just have a couple of few copper cents to live by.
And damn, I have a penniless mouth— I got broke when I got here
where all my words are cheap.

I'm in old countrysides where currency logic won't apply,
where money isn't money at all. I suck air (light gasp) from mouth
and not from nose. Your persuasion is cancer
dying in a new form of cancer.

I am cancer, boy. I am yours.
Speaking in French won't work on me,
so neither does lip-sync.

Cat person stays cat person.
Our somber mud legs won't wake up on left sides of beds,
and we don't always roll out of it, we just drop our bodies like empty weights.
We fall like breathless sins on diet from holy beings.

Time still ticks, you know.
I know sometimes you think you're asleep,
but you aren't. When our scorned film stops playing,
it is achy nostalgic fever, and we will need so much rest,
so rest. Rest our hearts in sport jerseys so that
we will never stop running.

We've run far from homes we'll never miss
and hands we'll never hold.

I hear charred fists in the center of you.
They are the body sounds that are too often the crumbling of man to ruins,
but never the reverse. Time doesn't reverse. So I make my choices,
baby, my roads are mine to choose.

But I don't think you understand.
And you tell me that my choices aren't my own.
You tell me I am too young to press my lips on boys mildly-wild,
too young to drive small cars on big highways to scream,
and too young to talk about the world like I own it,
I own it, I do.

When it is time to sleep in coffins, you poured pity on me
like too much salt in soups I never liked. You watered me with bogus love,
so, of course, I didn't grow. I withered my stalk and draw pity for the man
who says pity on me.

I listen to heartbeat beating without heart.
I close clay eyelids to mute backdrops and I see eyes
with feet that run— tap, tap, tap.
Tap, tap, tap— like they're not eyes. They run like
they don't ever want to be eyes.

I go to the clinic to have the doctor run his checks,
to run my blood through his multiplex scanners with holes and pins.
He has a face of nonchalant glasses, and I will guess his middle name,
and I'm guessing "show off".

He reads reports in dead-tone euphony and talks like he's mighty King.
If I liked music, I'd be a teacher, and I'd give him
an F.

F for fucked-up.

I take the report back home with me, and it says: masochist,
with a slight love for affection. It says I enjoy the bite of my lips
and the aftertaste of insomnia. I loved the thorns I grew cage-held around my lungs;
I've grown to love things that can't ever love.

I hear clay drip.

We are artworks in progress—
we paint ourselves. We were given free-flow materials within ourselves to define us,
to inject woe, emit err, and mend it all back with justly complete skins
once we're hardened into sculptures.

It took millennia to be whole.
Ordinary life reeks of me.

It is better. It is better than your chemicals used to harden clay
before it can breathe Earth in. We think we've lived enough, yet we've never seen sky,
and we've never touched ground.