No trinket nests inside my bra, no metal impress
squishes into blood-red wax, not the otter’s
footprint in the river mud.
Neither ring, clasp, cartouche,
made visible as a jeweled chain
of grief or transient parchment of pain.
Come out of the night of wandering
and settle where I may give you warmth
bound in memory of a naked day
on a mountain full of golden weeds.
Read more "The Seal on My Heart This All Soul’s Day"
We are in the floorboards here
I kneel down and lay my hands
On the old barnwood planks
Our first house—big step
Baby steps, first steps, dance steps
The big picture window where
I always beat the sunrise to the sofa
Pink tumbling over a sleeping mountain
A nursing baby at my breast
Another sun another son
We carved our traditions here
Read more "Before The Move"
The turkeys and the pumpkin pie
The Christmases the Fourths of July
Birthdays, holidays—all holy days
Our rituals rooted in the seasons
This morning I read about sex toys
a design student was creating for old people
(defined as those over fifty),
a market he felt was overlooked.
One concept was a steel ear trumpet
to listen to a lover’s heart.
You have been gone for many years
Read more "Thrum"
but I still feel the warmth of your soft sternum
pressed against my cheek, still hear
your drumbeat vibrating through my bones
It’s something to look forward to,
of the talking heads
on the evening news,
her portal to the world.
When Dad was still here,
they’d watch together, and in twenty minutes
their own heads
would drop to their chests.
Now she nods off alone
Read more "Talking Heads"
under waves of silver hair,
the ocean at dawn
I remember the day you broke from me
A blue and viscous blood-soaked pearl
And though I’d grown you in myself
An alien from a secret world
The cord was thick and rough and red
A rhubarb stalk tying me to you
You wailed I cried they held you up
My universe bound by one sinew
Your father sawed the surgeon sliced
Read more "Graduation Day"
Surprisingly it didn’t hurt
I felt the pressure of my love
Shift from my belly to my heart
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.
black patches curving slick
extraordinary in its bloom
lights last flecks of
two by two geese
flee into darkness
tracks melting under toe
I’ll meet you here, tomorrow
as Seven Sister skate the sky
Read more "headlights"
moon raining crystals.
In Chinese, 朋友，恋人，& 爱人 are all
12-stroked characters, just as their counter-
Parts friend, couple & spouse are 6-lettered
Words in the imperial vocabulary of English
Though they are all underlined with human
Love and loyalty, the former entails twice
Read more "Affection: A Bilingualcultural Poem"
As much input or effort of the heart
As the latter to maintain a disparately
Similar humane relationship as a speech
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.
Night air carries superstition, poison’s veil,
Read more "How Deceptive The Moon"
cry of hunting owl, unbound mastiff.
Deceit manages the moon.
Dire blaze of comets fall
whips at cries of disembodied voices,
chaos of sordid death by border lies.
My reflection is running water,
an impulse through exile’s grasping past
profound as sin and consecration.
Floating in inertia, admiring
ennui through its idling passage,
I cup my hands to my mouth, rising
in terror, singing for redemption.