Elephants

There is a weight to this-
muscles,
blood,
heart,
there is a certain weight.

I named them all-
over and over that first night.
A mantra- a spiral.

The weight of hands
touching,
rough fingers on
smooth skin.

There is weight in the color of silk stockings,
the sandals worn in Morocco,
the ring from Nicaragua, and your mother’s watch.

There are girls in long skirts,
or girls who cry in cafés.
A soft light;
the lens of memory.

The elephant in the room:
the time I waited outside your house
and you weren’t even home;
you said you would be home.

The weight of;
lightness,
of feeling the wind push your hair back,
flinging your hands into the sky,
running down the sand dune,
hollering.

I named them all-
over and over-
walking away.

Originally published in Public Pool 8/25/16

Daphne

The woman in black
leans against you on the bus
rearranges her coins in the palm of her hand

A deep unhappiness,
like the membrane of an egg
lies beneath your ribcage.

You were alone for so long
you forgot the sound of your own voice.
You called and didn’t say anything.

You watch the statue, waiting for it to move,
hold out your hand like hers-
fingers like petals, a trick of the light.

Hot summer of hotel rooms,
thunder storms,
and so many cigarettes your gums bled.

You took the train from New York City to Maine.
You stopped leaving voicemails.
You couldn’t say when it was enough.

You reach your thumbs out, to feel the stretch of it;
you feel your thighs harden and your step take root.
You sound like a string plucked, a note vibrating.

Your arms turn to branches,
and you try to turn your head.
You want to see what has been pursuing you all this time.

Originally published in Public Pool 8/25/16

Travelogue

3/27.    There were three red lanterns
            hanging in the garden
            we counted in the shadows


3/29.    From the kitchen window
            we watched cherry blossoms
            fall like snow 


4/1.    The moon stood in the doorway
          we whistled tunes
          from old television shows


4/2.    Old men sat on benches in the park
           lit by fading sunlight
           as pigeons inspected our feet


4/5.    I get excited for rush-hour
          on the subway
          to be pressed up against you

 

Snow

There was a ring around the moon,

the tracks of winter birds

were shadows under

the light of a street lamp.

 

Walking along the icy road,

the snow banks almost

taller than myself.

 

That morning we’d had

a snowball fight;

knocking the icicles off the roof,

and chasing each other

through snow drifts.

 

Now everything was silent

the moon, the snow, the light,

were humming with silence-

except the creaking icicles

growing in the shadows of the eaves.

 

 

3 Dreams

1.

I dreamt I looked up,

and saw you looking down,

as I lay like a starfish

at the bottom of a tide pool.

 

2.

I am in a blue house

with blue walls and floors,

blue plates, a blue cat,

and a blue rat.

 

3.

Two dreams tangled together:

A stranger’s voice in your body,

six-month-old letters no one wrote,

a bridge, wind in my hair.

 

 

 

 

Science

You are a study in the

vibrations of sound

a test of space, a proof

 

one hundred ways to answer

the same question resting

 

on the tip of my tongue

the cusp of my lips

 

 

a single remembrance,             a laugh,

or the way you kissed me

so I would shut up and go to sleep.

 

You are a phylum,             a family,             a species

of bird and I will track you through

the sky             or in the reflection of moonlight

on the bay

 

Marianne

What are the facts of this poem?

         It points to

                      plurality

                      and unity

 

the subtle feathery edge of the wing

(or the spirit of the thing).

 

What is the genuine?

        Dilating-

              the pupil expands as

                    we admire

                         what we cannot understand.

 

What does the poem do to you-

           to persuade you it is a real poem?

 

π is interesting.

Parallel lines are interesting.

            They do not repeat-

                     there is no intersection-

                            they are gestures toward the real thing.

 

 

What is the source?

             Is it the well where the hazelnut falls?

Or is it battling, inarticulate

              blindly unmaking it?

 

There is wisdom to unfolding

         petals-       pages-       words

                 to find truth

                     to wonder what is.

 

Intimations of-          something

               an encounter-           in real life.

D

Dead man
desperado- an ancient
dope fiend.

Denver drug runners with
deep pockets.

Denial of some pleasure
decided long ago
dangerous levels of bacteria found in the
dreamlike
Delta waters.

Draping his arms across the back of a bench
Dope fiend shakes his head at the
decline of Rome.

B

Buenos Aires:
back scratch,
blue abandonment,
black Orpheus wanders,

basket-case girl, her
bright
breasts exposed.

Basement like, red lanterns,
baby gained weight over the summer- her
Blues sound heavier as you sip
Bacardi.