Though it feels a bit like saying your true family
is the one you got to know on the T.V.
or saying sunset
was the temperature of grapefruit’s blood
My first reality was a museum diorama, masterpieces of taxidermy,
big whales & jurassic resurrections by which the world began
& Time was marked by shifts of skyline first
Shadow is the memory of light, in certain terms
For me light began like this from dust
before the mind ignited with a sound Bronx-bound
Before, maybe the rain falling on brick or glass, not yet ash or car alarms
Nor the angel garbage, the white ghost crust on the streets of Downtown.
In those mountains, you cannot measure sky changing by birds
its movement too much like geometries of skyscrapers or shadows on brook trout
When was it, this my transformation into an aperture bound by memory
it can’t have been that clear hallucination I have of the taxi cab on the day I was born
You say the mind can’t be awake so early
but what of innate resistance to fluorescent lighting
inborn longing for the blossoms’ shifting hues
on winding trails of scrubby brush
those coastal hill prophetically aflame
so much like the constructed hutches and ridge lines of wild ostrich wings.
I should have tried to explain by saying I first knew light as a construction,
a brightness in a hospital over a carpet of cement
a scarring over deep tunnels, the gizzards of iron pipes.
A maze full of bright, dead things that have never stopped living.