Dear Dude I Just Met,
Sorry I was so blunt
about you being full
of shit while I blew out
I Thought of Whitman
I watched the ripples widening on the pond today,
So many, thousands it seemed,
Forming, spreading, meeting,
Into the larger pattern.
And I thought of Whitman—those ceaselessly
Widening circumferences of his, so full of life,
So full of energy, so boundless
In their expansion; and I wondered
Whether we, too, are the rain—our minds,
Perhaps our spirits, if you believe in such a thing—
The way Walt said, the way the pond does
As each droplet joins the swirling dance;
Whether we, too, expand and meet and merge,
And if we do—
Things with Me & Spiders
1. The killing rules
They’ve got business
to be about and it’s
none of mine.
I browse branches
for their webs like
I drive them to drink
the mosquitoes dry,
every last one.
Indoors, it all depends:
on my hair or skin
it won’t end well—
I can’t account for
But I give them quarter
when I don’t feel
or slow or in
Once, I let
a black widow
for all her
The crisp lined sheets
clean and empty
wait to embrace
the soft, tired form;
Ready to re-ignite
dreams and quell hunger
after fire-drill orbits
and polished scullery days
We are gingery thoughts
and lemony emotion,
the ebony inkpot
of smoky imagery laid
onto a bare plate:
Our bed is the poem.
He knelt beside me,
rolling one from the starter tray like I would roll my comfortable thumbs
over his knees when we drank coffee
on summer mornings.
We dug in together, both smeared with the compost-stinking soil
from the plants before that had stained our jeans,
muddied our faces.
marigolds bushed—yellower than the summer squash blooms—
20 to a single plant, and their fruiting neighbors
Couldn’t even escape the rabbits.
I remember his uprooting the woody scrags
A few months later
when the flowers wrinkled into clots and dropped—
a few weeks before he left—
Tossing them behind the shed
With other remnants of once-beautiful things.
The worms churned the barren raised-bed for weeks.
Then, I saw them—green blades spearing the damp dirt—
I scraped them all from the garden.
Hurled them away.
“Not yet!” I cried after them.
But I’ve never begged something that listened.
I saw one today,
Thumb-sized, hiding under the cherry tomatoes I eventually planted
When the soil’s rawness ebbed.
It found its way to the water,
Was holding its one red bloom like an arrow
Under a new, green tomato testing its weight.
I let it be all summer.
You cannot remove something that demands to be present.
And, I imagined, it made the new tomatoes taste sweeter.
bones, kidneys, and brain
on a screen we see it through the skin
wrinkled and porous like a sponge
five and a half pounds
and lots of hair, they say
the technology gets better every year
four chambers whooshing blood
we hear the echo through the room
hollow like a steel drum
then, what we came to hear:
no signs of defect—
he didn’t get his daddy’s heart
it must be mine he’ll keep