soon after we parted
but then against the General’s command
we drove the boy out beyond the salt flats
to the northern edge of the mountains
where he said for a thousand years
no one would wake him
you spoke you remembered
Read more "Your Words Still in This Place"
how he could not grow a mustache
not like the revolutionaries and caudillos
he could not clear his lungs
in the desert air
we stoned him for taunting the Chihuahua
stolen from Arango himself
but he loved his family name and honor
more than all men
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.
The stubby screws
Read more "In An Office At The Movement Disorder Clinic …"
in the cerebellum
poke out, exposed
to the cold
air. I have to leave
these parts to nestle
in the temporal
It’s the best I can do
which means I can’t
put the brain
back on its base
Babies, ice cream cones, umbrellas, cell phones, walking sticks,
Read more "Open Carry"
Groceries, the newspaper, a fresh pizza, flowers for the one you love,
Car keys, a purse, pen and paper, a snack, reading glasses,
A book, two books, a Bible, a pair of gloves, lip balm, a lipstick,
Bicycle helmet, a hairbrush, gum and breath mints, a hand mirror,
Earbuds and a pocket watch, a penknife, nail clippers,
Camera, screwdriver, hammer and pliers, a wrench,
Flip-flops and a towel, a folding chair, a handkerchief,
Which is a very strange word when you look at it,
A Leatherman, another strange word, but we got used to it
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
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.