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.
They say salt
was once so precious
that soldiers were paid in it—a salary.
A common, bitter thing
I add salt’s tear-tang to the dough
and feel my wrist and bicep work
(the ingredients of my life
are not measurable things
though I feel them pulse just out of sight)
now I see the sight I always see
Read more "Ingredients"
out the kitchen window
as I knead and knead and knead
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.
The picnic table. My sister’s
vaporous hair. Neighbors
in their unknown clothes.
I’m wild in blue shorts,
striped top. My mom’s
in my sister’s body.
The tenants of the lawn
rumble their tongues
like little engines and tickle
my untouched ankles.
I run the path of planets
around the wild grass
between the grass
Read more "First Memory"
between our houses. My
arms make airplanes.
Look for it close to the Amazon warehouse district,
not race tracks or the railroad station.
Don’t expect auto-vacuums or auto-lawnmowers,
it’s a fur-ever home for snuggle pups that don’t grow
into rambunctious black labs and for calico cuddle cats
that purr at any touch and home in on shoulders
in bed. Admission fees are need-based; declare
your loneliness on a scale of one to ten. Best
to come alone for the cheapest price, and best
deals are on Friday just after work, advertised
as Thank God I Feel Friday when you have one hour
for free. Leave your striped tie at home; the goat
teases by trying to chew on ties but gladly accepts
Read more "The Robot Petting Zoo"
carrots. Shoelaces are sometimes a problem.
I love my dog more than my dad
Read more "I love my dog more than my dad"
By a distance, not a tad
There I’ve said it, the cardinal sin
Preference for a canine to my next of kin
His big floppy ears, doughy eyes, cold wet nose
Means more to me than my father’s bones
That lay in a grave, I hope at peace
My accidental parent, who came from the East
And whilst my dog showers me with kisses
I remember the drink, the rows, the Christmases
He was never there, never told us he cared
But still I loved this boy soldier, unrecovered man
Though not as much as I love my dog
Sorry dad, I hope you understand
Father, my heart freezes
stiff as those chickens
when that slaughter truck overturned
in the blizzard of ‘78
and as I walked through the empty
snow world I kicked them,
feathers all over the road.
There is mother
Read more "Patricide At the Dog Howl Cartoon"
in smoke and shame
hiding her face how the dead
know to do. Father,
her dark eyes hair skin all
a howl of rain.
Like the arc of an asteroid’s predicted landing
Read more "Beyond Reach"
none of us are sure what’s yet to come as we ignore
skin’s craving. We stay in this strange apart space where
we cannot shake hands hug dance kiss cannot simply slide
next to one another on couch park bench diner booth as we’ve
always sat, loops for the same belt.