K. Lou Combs
Published on: 9/26/2011
Truth or Dare
Here is something true:
the sky changes color.
the moon, daily, exchanges her mask
swapping sliver of half curled cheese
for a mirror framed by night.
even the earth beneath you alters itself
seasonally-cradles snow or grass or dead leaves
or nothing, waiting for the next change.
it may come in earthquakes, those sudden shifts,
forging mountains and canyons from smooth rock
or in the way tectonic plates drift over
the planet's molten core
in constant search of home.
A dare next.
jump into the sky
and trust the changing colors will catch you.
Here's the truth:
that which lives seeks love.
trees reach with roots and leaves
to encompass earth, water, and sun
for food, but also so they know
they are not alone.
a human being longs for it
with every molecule,
every strand of DNA
splits apart and copies itself
so it will be alive
when you find love.
every breath searches for it,
waiting for the moment
when the wind carries it to you.
so seek love.
sperm strikes the egg,
burrowing close for warmth, becoming one
to create something new.
a newborn horse wobbles on stick thin legs
and its lungs expand in preparation
for the first neigh.
the lioness prowls and takes down a gazelle
and its death feeds the pride-
like when you die, your body will break down
to enrich the soil, and give the grass
a place to grow.
meanwhile, the day trades itself with night
above and over and part of you
burning the colors of your universe
into the horizon.
be changed by the sunset.
know everything changes
and stays the same.
rely on the horse to grow steadily strong
the moon to keep her faces
and the tree to reach through soil,
looking for something other than itself
in this wide wide world.
Published on: 9/26/2011
The fly loves the human
and so adopts itself
into your household.
You think it a nuisance,
but all it wants is to touch the oil
eked out of your skin.
On the bend of your thumb
it reads the minuscule lines
hatched over your knuckle,
that you have not realized exist
because the language you speak
is of syllables and uncertainties
rather than the chemical understanding
of direction. So different from how
the fly understands the world
through its stick feet and thousand eyes,
observing when you talk over it
and not minding.
In fact, it loves the human
tongue, the sound of your voice
resonating in your throat,
a gentle rumble so similar
to its mothers' buzzing wings
when she lifted off her unborn eggs
and their sucking maws,
birthing one after the other without pause
until she flew off,
never to be seen again.
Little orphan that it is, the fly learned
to make its god of you. In you
is the parent it never knew,
the one who provides it food,
who offers shelter from weather
that would tear its wings apart
and dusts away spiders' web
so it can fly, unmolested.
Even your swings it takes
for a game of tag,
never suspecting the moment