The Also Sacred Story of Drowning

i hope you remember
the undertow, son
not just the day that almost killed you or how
you should not have swam that beach

The Heights

can you imagine Daedelus as I can
watching his son
first lean into his wings and
point into the sun
do you think for even a moment
the old man whispered encouragement
higher, my boy, fly higher
don't stay down here as I've done

Sex on Video

i think i hate it like i do
because it's banging rocks together
for the thrill of the sound, not
climbing them or watching them with your slow looking palms or
allowing them, and thus finding that
they're able,
to speak

All of this Together

remember the four of you in bed
Gilbert's Ovid in tears over the dance,
and the evening air in Rome,
remember the sons of old pickups
in country night and
why all of it together is important
these lands are not disparate
they are closer than leaves
seeing each other in the forest

A Thing Left

when they die we talk not about where
they were found but
their bodies, while they're presumed to be elsewhere,
report to one another the
condition of the remnants
the leftovers, and still
speak in the possessive,
incredible that in death the body is both their jettisoned thing
and not them,
as if we'd return it, given the opportunity
a scarf we'll hang on to on the off chance
Mind the integrity of the intervention, he says.  Talk of comfort is
nonsense, you live only with broken ribs and a small blade making
a little sprint in your throat. Wisdom is not a position of comfort. It is
the doing according to the knowing and a devotion to what must be.

Creatures of Wonder

you know them
the creatures of wonder
your love for whom might startle,
in your knapsack you carry a gift you crafted
precious little with which you set off
you find them orchestrating the rise of marble towers
and wild beasts they've tamed to wander leashlessly, there
nevermind the majesty, they say, leaving it all
let's see what you've brought


The Trains

i want to crawl up
into this concrete dome, with you
pitch a hammock and a plywood table top
we'll watch the trains rattle by
and unload from our pockets
all the heavy things we know

Imagine the Breadth of It All

my heart breaks in the magnitudes
of difference
between my abilities of tongue and breath
and all the stories that rush me

Remembering to Collide

he chases what he'll never be around a collection of stones
under willow trees in the pasture
none of the neighbors wonder, anymore since
they can always hear his yelling
what is strange and exciting are
the collisions, where one of the
others running there draws blood and
accidentally, they're not alone

In the Panes

she is at once grateful and unhappy
and he knows she's right for it
but can't get fully around it
like tapping at moisture between the glass panes
how can you fix that
without taking everything apart

the house after the hurricane

near the window, they're probably seventy
traveling north toward new york
eating crab cakes

she becomes distracted
and looks at nothing

she is still, in his tired eyes, which are kind to me
he taps her plate
with all lightness,

reminds her to eat

Out of Port-au-Prince

we've never lifted fists of its soils
or drank its whiskey
death is a land unvisited
a myth we all believe in
none are expert
rumor is king
and we hate it
it is a reckless fool
for the still, answerless organs it leaves us
and the mad silence that it sits up in our chairs, just there, at our tables
outside our daughters' rooms
upon the shoulders of our sons
it doesn't know its own calculus
audacious enough to call away
our loves, to populate itself
and send us, mutilated
to look for them in the trees and cities we never
wished to know

All that Wasn't

i wonder how many conversations
in this café
my ring has stolen from me
what sort of messages were left
beneath the band
without the knowing that the ring
is sworn to silence
the unusual repellent gleam, turning about my skin

but then, how many for her?
who's worn rings, a decade, on her cheek bones

Saying Untidy Things

weighing the risk of saying all with you
i feel the same heft
as that chest of costumes
i parade joyfully in my dressing room
before fixing my cufflinks and bowtie
assuring groomed straight edges
for the ball

The Rest is Suspect

i imagine a thing to be a cube in time and essence
a stone or tree growth or the pulse in my wrist
all cubes
we climb the near face of the cube
we sniff and scrutinize and dig small divots in it
sounding for depth

unleashed and crawling on that face of the cube
are our creations, our capacities, our notes
on the nature of the cube

history and calculus and biology inform our metrics
of the cube
poems wander about and instruct us to the edge
and we can imagine the other, untraversable faces
of the thing-cube

Maybe Riots

imagine the devastation
the Louvre in flames
a deep chemical white
sure to melt and pervert
what it doesn't make to soot
wailing in the streets, i think
Paris and Sao Paulo and New York in vigil