For three days I looked
for you in the same
my boots fill up, let
the wind turn me
from shore, let
my back get sore,
my pockets be empty,
remembered how my shadow
moves, here, how sound
carries over
this pond, how
the pink jellies pulse, how
I pulse, saw
everything a mirror.
And when
I, finally, picked you
up, all I saw
was all of us.


This is a morning like
someone’s left-to-sit
breakfast. Coffee
creamed and cooled in
open cups. Rows
of toast, gold and taciturn.
I’d have seen you
burn, before plating
and leaving
you for a lonely driver
to weep over
and write about. But
who am I to
say you aren’t pretty
as a picture
untouched, there, on
the table.


I can barely keep my
insides from seeping
into the sofa 
springs, from folding
into floorboards and
easing through 
the mantle. My guts
are floral printed, the
stuffing loam, the planks
red rushes, the earth my most
precious gray matter. Would
you recognize me, if I
stayed like this?


If you catch me counting
letters on book spines, berries
on my breakfast, steps
on the stairway—I’m mapping.
Not my way to you, but to
me. You, I just
have to trust
to know
what my breadcrumbs
look like.


Stand outside
with me so I can watch
my breath meet
your breath. Pant
with me, ‘til we
don’t know whose is
whose and we don’t
care how cold our
hands are—we are
handless reuniting
under the
glass of winter.


B-Side, sharpening my
G, g, g. Now, see
how loose it is? More
like my father’s than
my mother’s, whose
was chalkboard-clean—the green,
lined kind with lunchtime-
eraser clappers. Who
has time to fall in love
over inky ovals and
tenderly pulled lines,


In that emptying lot
we traded early-aught
war stories, compared scars—
waving our arms, waiting
for life rafts. You’d smoke, I’d
bounce and worry
about sweat stains. We
watched that century-old
ferryboat fail, fill
with water, lose its bow.
And even though
your paint was
not peeling, I see it was
you who was
the sinking ship.


Today, I could not get
my earrings in, got dizzy
dropping, standing,
folding over for fumbled posts
and looking around for
some ghost to tell me
something. Then
a parking lot praying
mantis told me to be
and I wanted to
scream at her, I haven’t
bitten my nails since
the day he died, so
now what?
I’m waiting.

The Bridge

It’s hard to hold
a mudra, make a
gesture of blessing—beyond
an open-mouth—when we’re
all spinning, playing
tricks with light, leaves
wishless coins dropping. All
I can do is flatten
my tongue and make
as much room as
I can.

Meet me in the Car

I take drives to
talk to you
like I used to—
in other people’s
verses—and try to
recall that stomach-flip feeling
of speeding
over bridges with you.
Meet me in the car, OK,
but I’ll greedy-repeat-play
the songs I think
will keep you


I can’t smell
the flowers on
the kitchen table, or
the piles of them, at
our Mother’s feet—
the potent row
of sprays for you
have dulled
my senses. I’m still calling
to you, go slow, even though
it’s you I left
behind at the end
of that too-long,
marble hallway.


I’ve mourned you
before: growing pains in
my shins, sure it was
you who was
getting too big too
fast; that sweet year we rotted
the wood floor; when I left
home; came back home;
when you wished me
and my family well. We all
smell shirts, trash blue
baseball caps, keep folded
notes in a box, but don’t plan to
burry you before the letters
tear at their creases.


I had no flock, but close
confidants who knew, too, how to hold
their breath. I’d let you watch
me draw oil to catch color and keep
me slick and ready. I never
wondered how you felt as I fed
myself with kills, air dried and looked
away. I always knew when the
tide was coming in and when to
ride it out.