The Mind-Body Problem and Who Will Punish You

The Mind-Body Problem

I
Debussed and blinking
in the yellow of the station,
wondering at the magic of
the diners and motels, rubbing
miles from my eyes and
shivering for something hot,
new to this country where
the snow is thick and
unexpected, Arrivals,
I think, are all abrupt.
  
II
Adjusting my head against
the window pane, the outside
darkness deepening, my bags between my
half-bare feet (one show is on,
the other off), thinking of once,
when things were small,
the space between the wall
and bed, where childish hands
could never reach, how
objects sighed and turned away,
becoming irretrievable. And how
my mother killed the flies,
intruders in the kitchen
sink, without a thought for 
their rich festival of legs!
 
But fantasies colliding are given
Their bodies back. Like Eurydice,
a shade restored to breast
and thigh, once severed
from the needing that
sharpened her like a needle,
returned to earthly opening,
arching her back against
the sky and begging 
the earth to swallow her,
over and over again.

Who Will Punish You

Who will punish you if not I?
Once I sliced my body
so that you could live
inside. You who manned
the barbeque. Who quit
smoking. Who did not hate
your parents. You didn't even dare
to be terrible at tennis.
 
Surely my silent hatred has
curdled your milk by now. Surely
it has killed the birds that
feed upon your cheerful
crumbs. Awkward I
crouch criminal
beside your happy house,
seeking the signs of
some hidden discontent.
 
Always you have held
the door; lent the jacket;
signed the card. I
offered you my entrails.
Sonnets in fifteen languages.
The single freshest apple
of the entire spring. I still
envy the beds that
share secrets with
your sleeping. While you who
are all surface,
you function.
You are functional.
 
I confess that it was I
who planted poems
in your pockets, I who
sowed the seeds that
yielded roses in your
garden. For years now
I have pricked my fingers
on those hopeful thorns.