The Double Yellow Lines
Meridith Gresher

I dredge my fingers through talcum powder and shoot it
from my tips, letting it fly upon the air and
smack the mirror that recognizes the past,
a crescent of new moon benediction. To think
that powder, so seedless, could mask my wrinkles and
fill my youth as I perch between the double yellow lines of
madness. I have traveled down this road and written
theses upon my tongue, burned as incense, too weak to leave
my bed and too warm to lift a pen to keep inky proof of my unraveling.
Mysteries burn at night but lose themselves

with sunshine and dusty floors. I have painted imaginary figure eights
upon my thumbs, till I was calmed by eternity and resolute
with sleep, the place where my iris falls short upon blades of grass.
This is how the world should be fleeced as sheep, bahing
and beying, hoofed in a mountainside of lichen and snow mist. Death
cannot compare to the crawl of rock toward sea, impassive
and girdled by canyons and waterfall.

I dreamt of subways holding rocket propelled bodies inhaling
the smell of urine, crisscrossing smudgy soles from sticky floors,
with deadened eyes that cannot remember mountainsides of lichen
and laurel, but know rhythm and pace compounded
in hearts ’til the constant roar of track and shuffling bodies is as
the roar of the fall: water and waste, human and hollow matter,
shape and consequence, all as I lie

in my bed, seedless. I spread my chalky fingers upon the sheets,
goldenrod with streaks of death. I place my cheek upon the bed
away from the pillow and listen to the careful stream of my heart,
the careful grind of my hoof on rock, causing the air to chase the new moon
sliver upon my tongue, like a host, like body and blood.