noble gas, noble beast

printed over a dollar’s hieroglyphs.
printed on our molars, on our enamel.
printed on credits from Ursa Minor,
on our hang nails, our rooted crowns.
who’s there?
recorded anonymous on debit card mag stripes.
printed on one knuckle of a zoo’s prized nobility:

  1. skin cells of the swimming lake
    1. latitude
  2. misery dew point; wipe your upper lip on a plaid work shirt
    1. longitude
  3. boiling point; waxen bough too slippery to grip
    1. x-axis
  4. fist full of pumice; caress the face of one sleeping
    1. y-axis
  5. palms cupped broken windshield yellow jackets
    1. disorienting gravities
  6. drawer of slack wire with no frets to be glued on a balsa neck
    1. tons, chords
  7. skin cells in the wash basin
    1. cubic feet
  8. the smell of silk burning, ink burning on newsprint; linen thrown over a sleeping face
    1. kimono angstroms
  9. quartz, barbacoa, 1986 NASA
    1. Fahrenheit
  10. on the lake: transposed Santa Maria against skyscrapers
    1. knots
    2. terminal velocity

steady there, steady
with a carbine for the collateral.
who’s there?
the onion farmer– lunar trap in tears;
recycled potatoes on the half shell.
recycled helium lugged by its broker

keep her nose away from matches–
breathe without smiling around the corner.
douse the silicon burning near Digital Dakota barley;
track a gunpowder nose to its matchbook

gather around the noble beast converting to gas;
its hide inflated, tethers on hooves holding it down.
the laughter, the murmurs, the exertion, the economics–

human brain, stomach pump, exaltation–
who’s there, who knocks so long?
balloonist thimbles of dividends

helium taxidermy. eat from the mastodon for three months
but leave its shell intact, make it air tight to be inflated
for flights above Pangaea

— like us, floating upwards
towards a suspension bridge with sacks of coins;
rosy child recursions; spleens of dinars, lungs of rupees,
livers of nascent yen

pull out every last tooth;
who’s there?
cage a word behind clenched gums, the trapped moth, our fetus

tuxedoed for self-immolation, hollow and still;
a coin inserted between ribs to eject its toy–
christen the kicked stack of silver dollars;
long in the tooth, one continent split.
long in the hair, the division of an umbilical cord.
the rapid heartbeat, the slot machine, the oblong rapist;
the blown out candle in Lincoln’s bedroom