My Daughter Night Terrors the State


yes moneys and birds settle by night in what formations on the lake

the roofs replaced leaves the hail brought down

flake in the sun and winds push and mound them into berms

there is no color in straw but fuel in nerves

my leg shakes and big planters hold trees

outside the stately houses around the water

I can make my bad teeth better and hang a little gold at your wrist

and my system-loving heart says our song will change at each new economy

who doesn’t wake glad to remain an owner?

whiteness a property of legal rights you slept through

the night in a house that stands

we are far from wars and our papers are filed with the state

we can hike up in the mountain

see the ancient pyramid above the valley of Tepoztlán honored a tax collector

bureaucracies precede us there’s a tribe somewhere we say

of whites trade in fear even their names such a stab at beauty

that you should assume they know our histories our books our sayings and tones

whites trade in fear

so scare them

sudden drop of the floor when I’m far from you

and too such a picking at the earth’s curved surface

and all laid on it that I am to hold a space and from it project the gaze you’ve trained in me

onto the back sides of docking bays brake places parking lots and turnabouts

and above them the sky

a bigger more respectable more competent friend

love collects at the run-off of this valley your mother says rides like a Cadillac

maybe an aesthetic theory two dogs same caramel color off-leashed

to chase and echo one another in the green patch

by the metro stop gold embossed grass threaded streets

can I be in that picture one day with you?

return to a room with sadness made crystal touches us on the thigh in a brotherly way

quickening flashes of teeth as the people in the video are about to come

or you can tell our architect what color glass for the office tower

low clouds reflected advance into their next sky next weather

let’s say our right to pleasure is a withholding

as a president lies in state do you wake in state as a medium screaming for all of us?

I carry no one in my eyes

only a path I don’t know to where you can stretch your finitude a little

I can be your thing you scream you want in your terror to bite my mouth

“right side up with care”

Henry “Box” Brown’s Mirror of Slavery panorama show interrupted

the magisterial fields the hills muscular the valleys with char with effects

black bodies used up Marina Abramović’s heroics

a magisterial emptying out I don’t trust Henry’s fields give the lie to performance

there is a tribe somewhere people say fear because it feeds them

the gull by night wheels round its technology for falling

such a handling stuns the thing is not gentle to its otherness

be thou gentle to your animal

my finest sculptors to shape a woman

Guanshiyin means observing the sounds of the world

glaze her hand and leave it loose to turn or withhold

and call it a figure for compassion

the sun comes up through the city trees

a thing wastes not want what to do with a woman’s form

whose labia are pierced and stretched her pubic hair to be burned

breasts in vices and the men who punch their own nuts

and women who press heels into scrotums on my computer

all civilians of the state trying to outpace their likenesses sell the shadow

or Henry who made the thing in which to hide

then left it on the stage

Farid Matuk's collections include This Isa Nice Neighborhood (Letter Machine Editions) and The Real Horse (University of Arizona Press), as well as the chapbooks My Daughter La Chola (Ahsahta) and Is It the King? (Effing Press).

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