Three Poems

I am your house

Hurry back  I am
your bending calf      I am your
whispering sleep


don’t depart(laughter between
breaths)not to go


or want you hereI am
your telling silence


a metal bowl dulled with apples
full of their own seeds      willed within
each of them: an idea of apples and plenty


not to go or wantyou
gone from here I am
housing you hurry


I am needles gathering
add the cold that comes


The sky purpling like a bruise


one other set
of headlamps on the road


all the cinderblocks so stained
by exhaust   there’s indifference


this is how dark comes on:
our shoes get heavy  we break

sporadically into sleep     into conversations


A Moon & the Swallows

Part of it:

A drunk, his collar
up, barks
at the moon.

You, he bellows—my only hand touched forehead, my only leg
bent at the knee so, my only half pronounced beauty—

you do not know where I’ve stolen
the push of a ‘b’ from my lips.

You do not know my designs.

Another part:

A startled young couple, three stories
up from the sleeping street, caress each other

like feathers
nestled into the wing
of some bird.

The moon juggles (dreams, petitioning) very judiciously.
From this distance it looks easy. How handsome
the shadows are. Enough dark to barely define them.

Another part:

An old couple, at the exact same
moment, or a moment later, make sounds
similar to when they first met.

Now with more cracks, more loose groaning
and slapping of flesh.

Their passion, a saw. The product of their lust,
a log. So between them together
they fell a whole forest. At last, a lone pine is left.

It showers the street
with needles. O, their sneezing and dust.

The last part:

Love sounds startle
the drunk and the young couple.

It’s then the old lady
opens her mouth, after
the last tree settles--

a bagful of light drops out from its limbs.



Running out of east

Trade weak joint for a song.
Trade the straw hat of faith for a nickel
plated gun: calamitous
and full of noise.


Trade your body for a silent room,
flattered by faces.
Trade this train and its leaving weight:
run on Eastern time, then the East ran out.


What can you call the hand’s memory?
A sense of poorly phrased motion,
another hand that’s used
to rest.


The trace of a smell left. A cake of soap
stilled on the lip
of a drain
traded to keep wild things cropped close.


Trade mercy. Trade the twitching light-

switch for a steady hand full of fingers


No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, or otherwise, without the prior written permission of the publisher.