Thursday, October 11, 2012


I am the broad-necked
buffalo, the worm that
ate the fish.  I am an
untied ribbon, a cold bowl
made of porcelain.  I am
mails cut like half moons,
the concavity of the tongue,
a once and present star
in a constellation with no name.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Night in Chicago, May 2012

It is May in Chicago,
and we sleep with the
windows open.

I am on the east side
of the house; so, the
winds pull off Lake Michigan
and paint my
uncovered body blue.

I am cold, but if I
wear this heavy quilt,
I will surely burn.

Instead, I will lie still.

I will quit believing I
have a choice.  I will understand
that the wind is not a wind at all.

It is the world.
Chicago has packs of coyotes
that prowl the streets at night.

Cameras have caught them
on Jefferson, Ashland, and Kimball

loping through empty alleys,
looking for rats and discarded meat.

Researchers say that they are not
clustered in one part of the city,

they are as evenly distributed as
deep dish pizza or frozen yogurt.

But most have seen them
along the shoreline, near the waves.

I believe that coyotes pass on memories
like eye color or markings.

I can imagine what Chicago must
look like to them, the soft ground

a white concrete, the planetarium
some motionless animal in the dark.

The soft-skinned monsters in lycra,
running a hundred miles from the shore.

United 374

I always write a poem
when we are taking off,
when the flight attendants
are gossiping in the back,
when the pilots are
doing their penultimate job
of the day.

I always write a poem
when we are taking off,

so if this is the last flight
I ever take, I will
enter death in a kind of birth.