What if memory’s just the dead, flourishing differently from how they flourished alive? — Carl Phillips, Stop Shaking Twenty-five years later, calm as compline, hushed as heavy snow, wired to a dozen impassive monitors, she left. Or rather, what remained, the mortal wound inflicted long ago: the loss, the betrayal, the accident that changed everything. […]

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Choose Before Me from the drop- down menu, then Parents, then Mother. Place in your cart her tomboy youth, how she outplayed the boys through long summer days, cupped in small palms fireflies gathered by dusk, their light mirroring her eyes. Choose Memories, then Family, then Father. Add to your cart how he carried you […]

     

Say my love is constant and yours variable or the opposite alternately juxtaposed and irrational. A negative exponent implies a fraction. When will we quit complaining? Endlessly we divide. At 25,000 miles per hour an object may break free of Earth’s gravitational pull, bolt its closed orbit to traverse an infinite number of stars. Count […]

At the end of the rut, the bucks grow weary, great heads bowed beneath battle-worn racks, here and there a desultory joust, a soft grunt cast in diminishing wind toward indifferent does. What was it all about? Majesty tattered, they plod and limp, half-dazed as if emerging from a potent spell, speak to former rivals […]

Wrists manacled outside a mediocre motel, you look like trouble, like habitual offense: arms sleeved in tattoos beneath a rumpled t-shirt, hair unkempt, jeans baggy around a leanness that says not enough, never enough; a face made for a mug shot. Yet your placid form, its complete acquiescence, and the courtesy in your voice, asking […]

I You and your hollow promises. Eager as a child on Christmas, I awaken early, craving the snow you forecast. Ninety percent chance, you said. Two to three inches. Liar. Decades of deceit; countless disappointments. Why do I still trust you? You’re no better than Lucy, promising that this time, this time, you will hold […]

I mistook your light for substance, though you burned out long ago, the celestial aspects of your small body subsumed by the dark gravity of one larger, and me forgetting how a dead star may nonetheless shine from an irretrievable past, a glory of extinction no astronomer could ignore, yet the core collapsing and collapsing […]

I Dear Collarbone: No one blames you, least of all the ball still firmly in the socket because you gave and then held, a faultless fault line in my body’s aging architecture. II As a child, I quailed to learn I have a skeleton — that horror-movie staple — inside me. What to do? We […]

Today we induct into the Hall of Heroes a cabbage white, its wingspan little wider than a half-dollar, an artifact you may or may not remember:  cool in the palm, serrated edges, the sharply embossed portrait of a young president whose life would likewise be truncated by the weather of the world. (On the coin, he still […]