Split it Open Just to Count the Pieces
One might consider that identification is always an ambivalent process.
Call me tumblefish, rip-roar, pocket of light,
haberdash and milkman, velveteen and silverbreath,
your bitch, your little brother, Ponderosa pine,
almanac and crabshack and dandelion weed. Call me
babyface, kidege—little bird or little plane—thorn of rose
and loaded gun, a pile of walnut shells. Egg whites
and sandpaper, crown of Gabriel, hand-rolled sea,
call me cobblestone and half-pint, your Spanish
red-brick empire. Call me panic and Orion, Pinocchio
and buttercream. Saltlick, shooting star, August peach
and hurricane. Call me giddyup and Tarzan, riot boy
and monk, flavor-trip and soldier and departure.
Call me Eiffel Tower, arrondissement, le garçon,
call me the cigarette tossed near the leak
of gasoline. Call me and tell me that Paris is on fire at last,
that the queens of Harlem can have their operations
and their washing machines. Call me seamless,
call me sir. Call me tomorrow’s inevitable sunrise.