Homecoming Cistern Alien Vessel
By Gabrielle Calvocoressi
Oh, my planet, how beautiful
you are. Little curve that leads me
to the lakeside. Let me step out
of the sack of skin I wore
on earth. It’s good to be home.
No more need to name me. No more
need to make the shape of a machete
with my mouth. Pushing up up up the tired
sides that want to drop below my teeth.
Lord, I’ve missed you. The streets
covered all day in light from the moons.
I was confused all the time. I wanted so much.
My hole felt like a gut with an antler
rammed through it. So lonely and strange
and always trying to smile. Coin of the realm.
And my arms open and my life
coming in and out of the “ATM.”
Once I saw a fox leap inside the morning
light and made the same shape
of myself. Once I watched the boats
and also rocked back and forth.
How does every person not cry out
all the time? Yes, it was good to eat
doughnuts. Yes. I was blessed by many
days of joy. A rabbit in the driveway.
A rosemary bush with a sorcerer’s cloak
of spider webs. Brian Eno.
The Hammond B3 Organ that never asked
me who I knew. But that body.
Like a factory. That mind like a ship
built to pile in other bodies. Skin like a
sow without any of the sow’s equanimity.
It reflected nothing. Pink skin. Blue eyes
hard as an anvil. Like a window with covering
that refuses the passerby’s gaze. I loved
the bully power some days. Oh my pleasure
in not causing harm. My pride. I’m not like
so-and-so. My pink skin preaching, my pink skin
yawping out my other hole, “I did not choke
the man with my elbow!” “Would never!”
“I let all the boys in hoodies walk
through dark streets.” “I did not shoot
them with my guns!” The ship rising
up inside me. As if the fox felt pride
for not tearing the bird to pieces. As if
the owl’s heart grew large from not
wrecking the squirrel’s nest. My pink skin
a sail full of indignation. My eyes pitching
across the feed. It is so good to be home
and yet. I have a ship inside. How can
the organ welcome me? I’m not a sow
on her worst day. Which would be what?
Breaking from the barn? Eating all the acorns
and rolling in the mud? No.
Her worst would be at my hands
and on my plate for supper. Grow
like the tree, the man who heals
the bodies said. In every way I became
the ship rising in the harbor.
How can I be welcomed after that?
"I am attempting to look frankly at the damage that echoes through me...and the possibility for change," Calvocoressi tells Poets.org. "I am trying to quit thinking of simple human decency as a form of heroism."
My Tuesday was all about unpacking, laundry, and convincing the cats that I had not abandoned them, which required having three of them smush me and refuse to let me out of bed. It was quite hot compared to Seattle, so I wasn't dying to spend much time outside, though I did go to two Pokemon raids at nearby churches to reconnect with my local group, one member of which generously traded me a Squirtle in sunglasses. We were all very happy about the Thai soccer team!
Our cat-sitter stopped by to see how the cats were liking their fancy new water fountain and to make sure they were adjusting all right to all the changes in personnel (I had a little souvenir for her). We caught up on Graham Norton and Succession in the evening while doing computer chores after a run to the grocer and pet store to get kibble, lunch stuff, and vegan ice cream. Here are some photos from Chihuly Garden & Glass, one of my favorite museums in Seattle: