I Was Wrong About So Much

A poem for Sunday

A black and white image of jellyfish tendrils
Paolo Pellegrin / Magnum

About my brain, its wires glitching
like a jellyfish sprite

flashing its apple-red tentacles
above my countless thunderclouds.

About your eyes, not a savior’s eyes
but brown as blood. I was wrong

about the God I warped
into a weapon, a garrison.

Wrong about love, too. I thought love
was my mother’s soprano tessitura

screaming. I thought love was
a violence. Verdi’s requiem, Dies Irae.

You thought love
was love. New-millennium emo. February

flooding the school below the palms
wringing their palms

like willows the morning after
you rinsed gas-station zin from my hair.

I’m sorry I chased you for years
the way a cowbird tails the cow—

not for love of the beast
but for the insects it kicks up.

She ditches her eggs
in someone else’s nests

to do this. Kills someone else’s young
to do this. This possessed. I was.