the clarity of their absence. Does enough of you remain to shoulder the dulled implement, excavate some shard of horror at your disappeared life? No. Your fluid, nimble brain has gone porous and brittle, and what can you see in the attenuating dark? This is you now, slumped in the wheel chair, confused and compliant, a […]

The old taps leaked; the sprayer, too. All ran beneath instead of through. How sad the sink; how drab the rhyme. I lacked the skill, but had the time. Out with the old, stumped by the new, my sink implored me, halfway through: Plumbed to drain but not to fill, how will I ever feel […]

  Some lives are beautiful, even in ruin. Poppies after hail, bright heads in tatters, uplifted, and from the crushed mouths of lilacs, still that sweet scent. After the storms, might you turn your broken face once more toward hidden sun, praise with bruised lips the likewise battered world? Might you yet be beautiful?

They were names I didn’t recognize, names I’d never heard:  Alice Herz, Norman Morrison, Roger Allen LaPorte,  Florence Beaumont, George Winne, Jr.  Five Americans who, between 1965 and 1970, publicly self-immolated — set themselves fatally afire — to protest the Vietnam War. I am thinking of them on Memorial Day, when we traditionally commemorate Americans who gave their lives in […]

  Your loved one dies; mine goes away. If you never see him again, if I never see you, what of it? We claim mastery, at least, of solitude, which is to say, separation. Does it matter that life does not give us all we want? Does it matter what we want? Does it matter? […]

In my dreams JFK’s autopsy his head dissected yet his body convulses pitches forward from an armless chair and the caught sunfish I spray-paint gold and black and driving home in a driving rain that makes driving impossible and my dead cat finds a live bird in the garage — is that his voice, his […]

  When it breaks, may it break well for you. When grief stills your tongue, may it be consoled by a Hostess Ho Ho, a pale ale, a dry red or dark roast. By anything that comforts, may your silent tongue be comforted. When it breaks, may it break well for you. May your surviving […]

Today I felt the sky commend the grass, how it took the snow that burdened each blossomed branch, pulled the water through its thin throat, drank and grew, greened and gladdened, stood and straightened its slender hands upward. Today I felt the grass commend the sky, loving the storm as much as the sun. And […]

  God wiggles his butt when he sees you, his tail lashing the heavens with happiness. Not one glad glance is wasted on your sin, your bad behavior, your poor choices. Even God gets into the trash, sometimes. How, otherwise, would she understand? And do you recall how you laughed at her guilty smile, how, […]

The sun is not gratified by your blind orbit, your addiction to gravity, your need to be held. You value its mass for the tug it exerts; its furnace, for the heat. Yet everything wants to be loved for itself. You can see why the sun envies the moon, pale and embarrassed of its pock-marked […]