The Youngstown Order

from that soaring bridge east of Youngstown
i stretch to cast eye curl over the bridge rail and glimpse the
legion in their steady watch below on shore

i think of those trees' preform old souls who came to the river
for the call of it,

who before the Hardening cupped handfuls to their lips
drank just once of the flow and motion and were recruited,
lifted the cloister hood and beneath bowed faces
dropped root to the bedrock
they opened their blood to the river's,
came to steady in
a tangle of humus and limestone and seeping mud
of whose binded fates Earth would make model

tonight they hold heavy in a predusk canopy mist
it's cigar smoke in teeth
breath bated in the rib hollow
bone communion in the vapor

where the parish sits
that is church
where the order is set
there start the guard and
the holy study 


smelling the coffee in Paris
i make arcades of my arms
stretched behind my head, they grip me
and inch me forward toward the day
through the arches of myself
i am made to see better
this coffee and the humoring
Parisian who opens the bar
at dawn in Charles de Gaulle


five thousand dead of ebola this week
flight over the burning parliament in Ouagadougou
and the man beside me with
the two arm massage machine
he scored at the duty-free
waiting to board

Rabat Stage of Kindnesses

two young men
one white one Arab
being kind to their young daughters,
a woman grins and wines absorbing
gentle smacks that cup her cheek bones, and pulls on her hijab from
the pigtailed two-year-old in her lap,
the man on phone across the terminal is scrambling to find a pen
and from five seats out a stranger comes in
outstretching ballpoint,
someone chases someone down, holding up a belt
rescued from the recent detection indignities
to find, if unimportantly, it belongs to some other waistline