And darlin, the sun is setting
on my side of the world.
Sing to me of northern lights,
a car ride to another home.
Tuck me into a place
where you are not a dream
and to stay is not a matter
of gravity, but of will.



We’ve seen this movie before, and here’s the part where he finds the bodies, finds himself in mirrored caverns, a gallery of pallid twins asleep in metal cradles. I doze off on your shoulder while he’s checking their thumbs for spindle-pricks, kissing them awake to raise a barren colony. I wake up as he draws a portrait of his wife in sterile dust like the indelible footprints left by his hallowed predecessor. You wipe drool off your shoulder and press your mouth on my hair.

The man on television is making a village out of popsicle sticks, a microcosm he wants to curl into with his oxygen and scarf and postcards. He wants to know if his wife remembers the constellation of freckles on his back, he wants to brush an eyelash off her cheek, he wants to say her name somewhere the sound doesn’t die. I ask you whether you’ll call my name the next time you’re spinning softly within a woman’s gravity, four feet above black water, bodies in the lake and nothing underneath. You hold me a little tighter and say you don’t forget details.

The man on screen is beating his fists against insentient rock. He has effaced the fingertip trace of his earth-bound lover. I understand him, and want to be like him, never giving up on altering the dismal course of linear orbit. I understand how much it aches to be an afterthought, Saturn’s seventh ring, pure white glove on the surface of the moon.

Manna (To each his own)

Letters, he said,
are all right-angles
twenty-six conduits
for simple acquisition.
Put your words on the shelf
at night, unpack only
what you need. Stop
mistaking typewriters
for altars. My dear,
your pencil’s not a paintbrush.
The consequence of sound
ends at the softest

Why do you need a word
for homeless planets,
the heritage of solitary stars?
Why do you assign
meaning to the gasp
of wonder when you look
out the window and see
home, a cityscape,
an ancient horizon
you can trace with your index?

A miracle doesn’t need
a legacy, I said,
but how can you live that way?
When you lay beside
the river’s midnight lurk,
swans asleep in hidden
nests and yellow ragweed
in your hair, look up-
watch waves of savage wings
and wind roaring over
your head. Believe this
is why ancient Greeks
fashioned myths and heroes
from our galaxy’s rollicking war-cry.
Lean with your whole
body towards the churning
hour and consecrate
rugged euphony with your own
surprised shout, pure
and ephemeral adoration.

All of this and heaven too.
Bless the man who christened
each wisp of earth-hewn pulchritude
the hands that consecrated
these ephemeral gifts,
sonic revelations carved into stone.


Word for word (I know you by heart)

On the other side of this page are ghastly words that crept through my window on the crest of October’s sinister chill. You know them. They are the same mutilated portraits of anguish you found among the ripped notebook shreds scattered around my room like butterfly wings the loathsome churn of memory, violent slash of vengeful ink. I remember cleaning up the massacre, bodies in my senseless hands to bury or smear with mud. And Light, I remember finding your soft penstroke resolute upon the black chronicle, your trembling attempts to calm and rock me to sleep until the terrible hive quit its thrashing. A blue wave of hope, I remember, curved over the places anathema hadn’t touched. I moved my finger over the still thin shard, trying to feel where yours had been.

And now again I need you to make good of all this vile refuse from an exorcism I keep undertaking but never carry out until the end. You’re the last open door in the corridor, your lips pressed to each nascent wound, your woven enchantments like lullabies that scatter my grief towards fallow ground. Still I gather the prismic miracles of your hand, the poignant mosaics and wise cadence you fashion from tattered photographs ransom with tears and scraps of self.

I remember weeping hours after you told me that you had burned your exquisite troves of poetry,because it made you bitter and seethe with doubt. From then on I’ve tucked each written offering into a secret pocket,
and lay my hand over the gap at night.

I remember you telling me on the last stretch of journey home to write down the phrase “slip of light under the door”, so that you could
imbue it into a greater body of warmth. These threads I wrap around my shoulders like hand-me-downs. Nights like these I recall everything you taught me of prayer and gift, a love you can whisper through gathered pages.



magic? no,
opening our
front door. simple
as a sparsile
body, a shine
like pearls.
ruby grandeur
settles on
your brow- I
envy this

light. watch soft
the moon,
you can see
cosmic red from
your sleeping place.
apollo’s opus
illuminate your

skin. look at
waves, the cold
supernal eye,
my hands close
upon air.