Spiritual Physics

Above the cliff
standing guard
over its own demise,
a stolen car in neutral
adheres to gravity
without understanding

the slope
the edge
its trajectory.
The story

is these laws not breaking,
retreating after destruction
imperceptible except that
loyalty repeated

erodes.
Now the steering wheel responds
to what it once controlled.

A rosary swinging
from the rearview mirror.

An old birthday card
lost for safekeeping
jostles in the glove box.

Because everything happens
as planned, between the waves
booming their chorus, the splash
is a church mouse, the sinking

like eyes falling shut
if sleep were prayer
and prayer dream.

At home in a junk drawer,
which if opened would gleam,
the spare key waits
its turn forever.

Conducting a silent
invisible orchestra
bouncing as if
a hundred instruments
weighed nothing

a Chinese drag queen poised
at the center of a sea of cushions
flexes her fan
to flirt or hope
to inspire
fear and failing

dives upward
taking winds
and strings and brass
in hiccuping arrhythmia
away from curious fingers
of child scientists and predators

so strange
art can live
in false eyes
on dung and corpses
guised as flowers and guiltless

for it is natural this
hysterical gown
worn by the vulnerable
and our preconception
as if beauty were neither
utility nor taught.

butterfly