12 Days in December and January

12 Days in December and January
by Dan Raphael

A farm without chickens

A car without stains

A day that’s only 24 hours

A glass that’s never been hollowed

><><>< Two bends in two rivers where fragmented mountains tax, jostle, attempt to capture, map with music ><><>< When trees are freed from their imprisonment what with all the gems they’ve stashed away, patiently sifted from petiole to root hair, filters with filters inside them, holes in each square in each sub-square every direction is falling. ><><>< I prefer being pushed from behind to being sucked in by a vacuum i cant source or understand. What can’t hold still shouldn’t be packaged. Whats packaged while its asleep should be given an escape route, at least an explanation you can read in the dark, & something to calm the panic ><><>< You have to be naked with your eyes closed after years of training external and in- to find those little seams and bumpies in the air to climb this wall of nothing. Look only within. Think of yourself as a couple woodland acres in rolling wet age of land that’s changed persuasions one time too many ><><>< Assuming i’m right-side up takes me to the other side of judgment, hanging from a tree i didn’t grow on, Thinking an apple is a pear is a banana is a cashew. When my cat changes color each fall and loses most of his fur. How i was kidnapped, drugged to prevent time, and dumped in the other hemisphere, no longer speaking english, but swimming like a gazelle ><><>< If the earth was flat how far could we see? The better your binoculars the more to worry about. Would i give up a finger on one hand to have a sixth on the other? Whats the sharpest blade—patience or determination? For almost half an hour i put freshly pruned plant matter into the boiling cauldron that never rose or said anything; when i run out of prunings the fire vanishes without odor ><><>< Once as a teenager i weighted myself before and after shitting— i weighed a little more after. Time i fasted and pumped iron daily for two weeks i could barely stay on the ground,the wind knocked on my door and windows, taunting me with a spool of string and a rag tied tail. ><><>< Some days i eat everything that’s there. Sometimes i leave one on the table and see if it tries to escape; monday was so intimidated by the tables contents i made them lunch. When the sun comes through every window, splitting fanning proliferating, I tell my hungriest friends to get here 5 minutes ago. ><><>< With two gloves i make a world with fluid continents: Is the proportion of land to water the same as you get closer to the planets center? If we knew this planets name the distribution of faiths would be unrecognizable. I only shower in rain, most mornings i roll across the lawn, or find a small tree to join my limbs with, to imagine myself a network of suction, radiation, changing salt to pepper, reminding the birds to never land on what doesn’t move. ><><>< Yeast, water, heat, time, intention, fraying atoms, pond wont let my hand go. Im trying to guide the micro-puppy inside me to a safe exit but theres so much to smell, many messages left by previous animals who woke up in me, knowing the sky couldn’t smell like that, knowing they had to find a way out before they could express their feelings. ><><>< I fell sleep in my dream. I woke only once. Everyone else must be at work. I’ve been inhaling for three minutes and still my toes are flat.

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