Mother died. Father fled. Chaos ensued
as though I were swarmed by hornets
unloosed from a nest hidden high above.
His second marriage magnified the buzz
and stings, my hands tied behind my back.
After seventy years, there’s still a gallery full
of fierce memories. The debris of the natural
disaster that divided self-before from self-after.
I fold and refold the blanket of experience,
Read more "Collateral Damage"
unable to make the whole lie flat again.
Children are building cities
in the sand
All of them have rivers
They pull buckets of water from this lake
that is secretly a river, make rivulets
that satisfy their god complexes
I don’t like you! yells a girl
Read more "Beach on the Great Sacandaga Lake"
at a boy who has interfered
with her creation
My icy fingers remember
the lime twins,
fused side by side,
creased down the middle.
Our young bodies too—
Read more "Self-Portrait As A Popsicle"
their mysterious creases and folds.
The least I could do for you,
my Double Buddy,
was break the popsicle apart,
give you half.
Even the universe was young once
but though it was small
its events were immense
and shaped the course of all that followed
the matter inside us
the starlight around us
No memories remain of that formative time
Read more "3 Degrees"
but its afterglow is everywhere
faint but unmistakable —
three degrees in the background
pervading our world
whether we see it or not
Last night the sky was a child
Read more "Sky Communion"
coughing into a blanket, drawing
itself from a pale aurora jabbed
with another storm on the sun,
as if it’s got a circle of old friends
jumping tombstones. There might
have been a tribe of younger stars
dropping empty green rose-stems
through our curtains. Except last
night the child slipped its ghost
and stretched the sunrise against
the river trees.
I feared it would be like pulling teeth,
all hide-and-seek to avoid betrayal, not easy
like removal of a five-year-old’s wiggled incisor.
Then the miracle that my cupped hands
in hers hold water, no leaks,
no protruding river veins or age stains,
they look prayerful rather than begging.
Read more "Interpolating from the Inspection of My Shadow "
My pointed toe could be bold, an arch
to perfect the gymnast’s leap in open air.
The dad plants a garden
in tiny yard in front
of six family
digs up dead rose and forsythia.
In school the kid
gets a box of seeds
to sell for PTA.
The kid don’t know anyone with land
for growing all stuck in apartments.
The dad buys four packs,
Read more "Garden"
The dad finds old bricks
makes a ring in center of garden
to fill with flowers
and all along front border,
tomatoes, cukes, peppers
all fit into little yard.
is the witnessing grass
pressed down by boot
in joy or fear and
cut by dangerous blades
and neighbor’s gazes.
What the snow uncovers
is the secret parade,
the pawed passage
of shivering midnight
What the snow covers
Read more "What the Snow Covers"
is its own white with
further white, soft light
made heavy after its
nomadic fall, the flakes
ache to settle, nestle, wait.
I’m making the room
Read more "Whatever Country They Exist"
my room with
my tired eyes;
she leaves suddenly
and nothing but
but it’s too much memory
for me to be alone.
In science class we learned
the hottest point of steam
is at the tip of the teapot spout—
where streams of swelling heat
rupture the cooler air.
After school, I do my homework
upstairs in my room.
My kid sister murmurs
playing family on her own.
When the clock clicks four
Read more "Homework"
the stacks of the factory moan,
and the sky
gets smudged with smoke.