Sunday, September 11, 2011

Looking Back


A TV viewed
through a closed window

and the sound of roots lifting.


Grow, grow, grow! Turn your roots

upside-down and suck the sky

from the glass. Then, break it.


My boots are two horse heads
singing for their spines, bone trees

above the pay phone
where we meet. An orange hangs

from the branches. You peel the rind
with your teeth, telling me to hold

out my hand not for the fruit
but for three seeds that you fold

in my palm. Two are for the horses.
The last, you say, is for you.


And was it worth it, you ask,
the leaving? Was it worth

the view of Sunset Acres when,
looking back, you thought you heard

the clomp of earth on boxes?


real sugar. Here,

a cafe empty
but for our clinking spoons
and your forest, the city ripe
with fruit. Pouring banana milk

in our coffee, we remember
deserts, white mountain
air conditioning. A boom box clings
to a passing car. Here,

open windows--
a breeze like hot radio.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

What You (should know)

When I get there the kids are smoking (I don’t

inhale). Two hits before they’re talking like you

when you were sober (I’m reading your book

about New York horses that dream

of flying from their carousel). Later the cops nail

our eyes for being too open (My veins burst like weeds

around the handcuffs). The officer takes

our names, feeds us bologna

sandwiches(I will always smell

horse meat). When I come back

our mom’s taking pills-—or is it candy?

(I never ended a sentence

with a question mark) My pupils fall on the table, twin marbles

she swallows whole ( I’m afraid of leaving her

with empty boxes). I can’t sleep

because one eye won’t close. Sand blows

in our bedroom. Your forest grows in a distant phone booth.

At the station they offered me

one call (you should know it was you).

Our Dad's Army Jacket

falls from your kid shoulders. He says he was a correspondent,

which means writer, which means

he didn’t fight. His advice:

“Words are weapons, arm yourselves”, so you read

the names of tress (now streets) as I read the stitches

unraveling the patch of his name, a ghost

with phantom limbs so heavy they sink

in the ocean lapping our front door.

Later the water spits his jacket on the sidewalk,

one long thread that you stretch over your bones

in a limping hug , arming yourself.