Your small wisdom reverberates, shames my garrulous tongue. All the days of your brief life remembering what all these years I keep forgetting: the primacy of song, the power of song, the totality of song, as if we were made for nothing else. You still my wasted words, mute my foolish mouth, which henceforth shall […]

x-ray xray of hand

  Suddenly I find it odd that my arms terminate in hands — these firm and meaty pads, the bony fingers extruded in opposition to the outliers, these peculiar thumbs. Who designed these naked anomalies, wrinkling and weathering with the years? Where are my clever paws, their dexterous beauty, their soft and ageless fur? A […]

I saw you there the night before, a leggy black pearl against the glossy white tub, and made a note: Spider. Remove before showering. And the next morning remembered too late, and bore your sodden body to the sunny deck rail where I had meant to leave you, alive. And lay you there gently, lifted […]

I. After I died, of course, form didn’t matter. Relief of a kind I could not articulate (lacking a mouth). I had been poured into genes; the body’s kismet commenced. I was not glorious; nor was I inadequate. My limbs worked. I had a heart, mysterious; a brain that could not understand it. I did […]

I like the sound of my phone not ringing, the stillness of my door unknocked. I like the invitations I do not receive, the peaceful hollow of my empty mailbox. Unsolicited for any response, I offer none. Now, I have nearly enough time. The hummingbird feeder needs sugar water; the nuthatches, more seed. If not […]

Because the hook is too cruel, I offer softer lures, chumming the surface of the rivers you love:  the cathedral light, the refuge of rocks, the small ballet of water striders walking the sky of your shimmering world. From which I might lift you for an instant, to remember the iridescence of your delicate, dappled […]

by a neighbor of ambiguous ethnicity, too beautiful to ignore, out walking her dog, who can scarcely contain his friendliness (they are each multilingual and kind),  and she a therapist, to boot, who tells me she brushes her teeth differently each time, disrupting habit, who encourages me to do the same. It can change your […]

For Mary, who considers even the weeds I may yet be good enough to rebirth as a pea, emerging from soil like a curled biceps, muscular and confident, climbing the fence of possibility, unfurling blossoms pink and delicate as a baby’s lips. And maybe before it’s done I will yield some small harvest, but if […]

I I assemble the notebook of my mother’s dying: the specialists’ names, numbers, addresses. Diagnoses, prognoses, prescriptions. Explanations of every benefit we do not feel. We decline patient portals. For our convenience, they say, but we are not yet fools.  We recognize the human hand washed by technology of our sticky anxiety, the obdurate, unanswerable […]

We dwell in the land of broken things, of completeness fragmented, degerminated and stripped, then inadequately enriched. You know what I mean. They will have to do, the world’s compensations. We will never be more whole than we were at birth, bawling and bathed in our mothers’ labors, eyes wide but unable to focus, to […]