TyreeBW.jpg

Tyree Daye

In the first draft of “I Don’t Know What Happens to Fields” there is a big tactic lime green thread running through it trying to hit every corner of the narrative. In the final version the thread is black, thinner and in the wind.

< draft >

RETURN TO TWELVE


I wake to the sound of my neighbors upstairs as if they are bowling.
And maybe they are, all pins and love fallen over.
I lay against my floor, if only to feel that kind of affection.
What I’ve learned, time and again:
Get up. You can not have what they have.
And the eyes of a dead rat can’t say anything.
In Jersey, the sink breaks and my mother keeps a bucket
underneath to save water for laundry.
A trickle of water is no joke. I’ve learned that.
Neither is my father, wielding a knife in starlight.
I was taught that everything and everyone is self-made.
That you can make a window out of anything if you want.
This is why I froze insects. To see if they will come back to life.
What is made and un-made.
And yet, each morning, the starting out, the ants pouring out
of the sink, onto my arms in dish water.
My arms: branches. A swarm I didn’t ask for.
No one told me I’d have to learn to be polite, to let myself be consumed.
I must return to my younger self.
To wearing my life like heavy wool, 
weaved in myself. And when debtors come to collect, 
I will pretend not to know.

< REVISION >

lessons on lessening


I wake to the sound of my neighbors upstairs as if they are bowling.

And maybe they are, all pins and love fallen over.
I lay against my floor, if only to feel that kind of affection.

What I’ve learned, time and again:
Get up. You can not have what they have.

And the eyes of a dead rat can’t say anything.

In Jersey, the sink breaks and my mother keeps a bucket
underneath to save water for laundry.

A trickle of water is no joke. I’ve learned that.
Neither is my father, wielding a knife in starlight.

I was taught that everything and everyone is self-made.

That you can make a window out of anything if you want.
This is why I froze insects. To see if they will come back to life.

How I began to see each day: the sluice of wings.
Get up. The ants pouring out of the sink, onto my arms in dish heavy water.

My arms: branches. A swarm I didn’t ask for.

No one told me I’d have to learn to be polite.
To let myself be consumed for what I can not control.

I must return to my younger self. To wearing my life
like heavy wool, weaved in my own weight.

To pretend not to know when the debtors come to collect.