Father and Son

Dreamers Are Gluttons




Over  A Bowl Of Potato And Corn Soup, Mr. Marvin Tells Me How He Castrated Baby Goats


Love Poem #1

Leather Death Fruit and Flying -- A Consideration

The Mechanic Takes on Language

135th & Crossing

It Could've Been

Kermit's Jazz

The Muse



In Time

Bottomed Out Language

Such Fears

Spreading Out Histories

Days Unfold

There is a Flutter of Noise in My Head


Such Fears

-           for Amy


Your  letter describes your eyes as speckled eggs

and crows feet, tells me how after work

you hunker down into a plastic lawn chair

surrounded by barberry and may apple, warblers chiding

from  pine branches, and watch the slow pulse-click of beetles

scurrying on concrete.


It's hard to imagine you there as dusk begins its ritual

of shadow and sun releasing a swell of mosquitoes

into Alabama air, and how you shy away from the childrens' songs

about you, the ghost woman they glimpse through a window

of chain link fence.  To tell the truth,

I know nothing about such fears--I have a hard enough time


understanding the particulars of skin; how sweat

beads on my upper lip

when the sun bleeds through my window,

or how I feel separate of  it

when you talk of love, the gentle sizzle

a drop of coffee on a hot plate.


Here  January is thick with ice

and all of Terre Haute seems suspicious of cold.

Even the neighborhood boys usually bundled

and waddling through snow are hiding indoors.

This season always takes me to our talks over coffee

and the store bought potpourri on the stove.


Outside, the snow is a far reaching silence.


Sometimes I catch myself talking out loud

listening for some return, some echo of my life

to barrel back into my ears.  I think of you

in that stalled Buick in Royal Oak, the pop of rain,

the steamed windows; I think of walks with mosquitoes

taking a little of us away, and of  finger-dances,


and the silences of our lives beginning to claim us.

When dusk settles around the ankles of my house

like fallen clothes, I picture my neighbors

sweeping dead flies off sills, looking at the white stillness

that is our town, and thinking about nothing

except that urge to take their lover's fingers in their mouths.


Right now I'm sure you're listening to those soprano voices

hiding in the high grass just beyond your porch

and wanting an answer to the question you asked me:

have you ever tasted pure happiness?

Amy, I haven't caught a snowflake on my tongue in years.


Originally published in The Comstock Review 

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