Thursday, October 23, 2014


Wind strained
through window
screens unravels
into a thousand
strands. Each
carries the sighs
of those
who stand
at other windows
north north-
west of here 
watching November
come in.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Gone Off

Your dog took to me
like a favorite tree. Your
mom made her whiskey-
sauce meatloaf,
and was feeling no pain.
Your grandpa beamed
at the way I phrased
my Jeopardy answers
in the form of questions
during my run through
Potent Potables. When
I played a diamond
to dummy’s ace to end
our bridge game and take
two overtricks, there were
smiles all around. And when
they left us alone,
at last, it was as if
they had already undone
the top three buttons
of your blouse. 
We may have failed
to account sufficiently
for you, however,
how you would say
you could smell it on me,
something like optimism
long spent, like potato
salad or Clams Casino
left sitting out.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Try to Remember

The first time I noticed
being without it? Well. Cold tea
in the kettle. Cat peeing
in the Rice Krispies box. Two tickets
to The Fantasticks by the phone.
On the TV, Merv Griffin laughing
at Danny Kaye. The mailman
saying, hope you don’t mind,
the door was open. The school bus
coming blithely up the street,
chock-full of kids. Was when.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

The Winter from Which None Will Emerge Unscathed

Well, right off, Uncle Cleo will die, but we can’t
really blame the winter so much as deep frying.
Two disks in Irwin’s spine will bulge when he tries
unsuccessfully to push the neighbor’s daughter’s
Fiat up the driveway, but he does get asked in
for coffee—but just coffee—so there’s that. Arwen
will hold her face against the kitchen window, soaking
in the last of the sun’s warmth at 4:45 p.m., and later,
mid-January, carve day lilies into both of her thighs
with a lobster fork. Six-year-old Stefan learns
the hard news about Santa. A seven-hundred
year-old foxtail pine in a Sierra Nevada ice storm
splits down the middle. Thirty-seven residents of Butte,
Montana question the existence of God, though
twenty-two will recant before Easter. One night in early
February, Cyril will see a side of himself so dark
and loathsome that he will refuse to allow
the coming reproach, the slow indictment of light.