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Beth Gordon

Ed note: the following two poems are from a series of Golden Shovels inspired by True Detective, Season 1

The Secret Fate of All Life (iv)

I remember a fly buzzing in sun dust when
the tulip fields lit up with the sound of you
arriving: each petal a small catastrophe/ I can't
walk into the blue washed hallway. You remember
glass bending with the weight of stars / your
new lungs / a symphony of clover / all previous lives
disappearing beneath the subway train. You
are the ticket agent with a violin heart. The frozen ground can't
echo your whippoorwill echo/each echo a change
in temperature. The honey-ed light of your
first hour. There are unexplained ghosts in our lives


there are ghosts with sunlit tickets in hand that
break the sound barrier: a trembling of walls is
my earliest chapter of doom: our neighbor lost in the
atmosphere/ the widow/ the wailing/ the terrible
and miraculous explosion. I want the whirling blades and
I want the sound of your eyes in the
morning. I want you to plummet and tell me the secret.
I am a receptacle of punishment. Your fate
an echo of petals / my fate the groan of helicopters / of
empty houses / the star-strewn wishing wells of all
our graves. You are the flower shouting for my life.

The Secret Fate of All Life (vii)

Say yes to everything /to the 42-pound exit door/ why
resist this weight/ inhale it like a helium balloon / rescue the newlyweds should
they be trapped in 11A/window/11B/aisle. //Raise your hand / say I
am the floatation device beneath your ocean view / say yes / I live
to be the yellow slide in the belly of the beast/ say yes to aisleway lights in
front of you / & behind / sputtering like damp sparklers. // Say yes to history/
to flying buttons /to your necessary voice/ I mean it lady/ drop the Gucci purse / fuck /
it’s hand-stitched leather / or / the baby in Aisle 10. // Say yes to her chaos/ I
don’t want to go
/ her tired hair / her tired hair. // Say yes to the uniform / don’t
think about her questions / don’t look for purple shoes / everything you want
to know is written on a placard/ as sticky as your ghosts. // Say yes to
double shots of whiskey /or vodka/ before you walk the sky/ know
that the olives in your glass are your final salty meal. // Say yes to anything/
to pulling the strap tighter / oxygen is flowing like dragonfly tears / this
is the easiest part. // Breathe normally/ the sound of snapping wings/ is
not an illusion / the sound of jellyfish swimming / in the clouds is a
homing / hymnal / beacon / you are almost there / the world
is a blue marble / let it drop/ let it roll. // Say yes / to every/ where /
to the free in-flight movie / the sticky / tired / romance where nothing
stops true love / say yes / heavy door / say yes/ missing shoes / this is
the overhead bin / say yes/ the planet in your hand / yes / unbroken / & / un/ solved.

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