thin whine of sirens
horizon clouded with plumes
fat greasy black smoke
the shock of the blaze, the calm
hollow morning, good friday


peep of the sparrow
brevity perched on a branch
gone in an eyeblink
poems can balance on the pause
between the words omitted


still the diseased flesh
layer the blanket, wrap the cord
supine and silent
bless the battle waged within,
prayer in the sarcophagus


practice patience, child
walk carefully, speak kindly
daily sneer unstitched
unlock your heart to perceive
what the universe provides


unwanted snowfall
on the dead grass continues
our dying springtime
stuff my ears with screaming soul
bass thumps and I keep walking


ringed snakes nose blindly
lizards kick, the opossum snarls
toothy spitting hiss
fall asleep and dream about
the sprung ghosts of animals


build your own altar
count your teeth and hammer nails
show the universe
that your hands grasp what they need
and offerings flow backwards


an hour and ten
navigating crumbling rock
and street-lit gutters
bus doors open, pooling light
then vanish like meteors


thick-tongued brain half-drifts
beyond my tilted, hung head
swallowing horse pills;
nerves accelerate, lights flash
fingers tremble and weave tight


spring equinox snow
blows to the mouth of our den
we raise our noses
turn to curl our warm bodies
palms on skin, breathing stilled air


clouds bolt through the air
spit ice flakes while whirling winds
scream past my window
inside I am cut of stone
mired to earth, dumb-cut, untouched


a guttural growl
flash of teeth, ivory needles
and the fangs sink in
my gut lurches, I feel the
blossom of claws on my womb


diamond-eyed kittens
cartoon belles, pealing sirens
droning coin-drop clicks
stale casino air tastes like
cigarettes and diet coke


fog and damp pavement
lit by pools of kelly green
plastic beads, trinkets
women pass a flask, huddle
for warmth before the parade


blue eyes, mineral
and my own clumsy fingers
broadened to man-size
my brother walks beside me
grinning peter pan shadow


the sun, cloud-ridden
sulks slowly through the sky, late
to each hour's station
the lassitude of the day
weight of the stationary


a small dark morning
city still night-lit, omens
in the blue beacons
the sky begins to rain stones
prove to us her majesty


my skull has shattered
beaten by a restless mind
to a snapped-chalk pulp
my brain paces, a tiger
sniffing the same stained cement


one thousand mouths leak
diesel exhaust, great plumes of
dense carcinogens;
breathe in one thousand exhales
on this grimy city block


sun-warmed concrete steps
cut from cracked-glass gullies
to shining hill tops
a crumbling umbilicus
to our satellite bedrooms


sugar your coffee
in the afternoon shade, shoot
arrows, embrace tight;
in the brick-strewn backyard
the dog ran her foot bloody


a pint glass pixie
clockwork songbird singing for
long-nailed emperors
i open my throat, the crowd
behind me woozy and warm


standing by the sink
to wash a mug, steep mint tea
radio mumbling
the cat curls fox-wise, sleeping
I sip and dream of summer


spring cacophony
ankle-deep snow thaws into
streams of cold water;
eight-hour blizzard erased
in a sunny afternoon


swift change is coming
I can taste it in my mouth
salt, ammonia
clouds race across the sky, wet
with snow to cloak early spring


ring the broken chord
spark the spacewalk, spiral fills
claustrophobic drums
I'll walk this beat out downtown
my head hung in the ether


two-thousand green miles
a ribbon spooling over
creekbeds, mountain stones
my swift feet ache for the trail
my tongue, six months of silence


pile the bed with sheets
worn blankets, hope-chest quilts seed
the afternoon nap
our sleepy limbs tangle like
kudzu climbing phone pole wires


ring the tamborine
shake the room with bass and sweet
reedy harmonies
it's so dark and tonight we're
drunk in love and alive