I know every inch
of this pale landscape, the scabs
and scars, vacant lots
the hollow by the river
where currants muddle and stray


a rain-drenched morning
I run to the bakery
wet shoes, open door
the air is moist with live yeast
gossip and fresh loaves of rye


stopped cars interlace
like stalled bricks, smoggy stonework
crumbling sun-baked clay
we wait like mummies, brain dead
in stuffy sarcophagi


rebar ribcage, flaked
with rust, and an I-beam spine
cut through my thin core
hang my flesh from these hooks
and see the strength of my smirk


gutter stutter-step
pigeons coo and bob, spin toes
and court in the trash
tires roll by, the birds scatter
feathers, breadcrumbs and shit


ionic cloudscape
ominous sea-shifts backlit
cracking claps of air
the wind whips grit and strange rain
onto braced cheeks, black sidewalks


I apologize
for my dead-weight broken tongue
the measured withdrawl
quiet evening in the dark
my beer slushy with ice chips


voices shout to claim
the fatal proximity
edge tight to the fire
but I want to know the space
between visits, glances, months


butter with your bread
in this old hidden farmhouse
we swore we were lost
until the vista opened
land and pink sky, sweet tandem


barroom handshakes and
rumors from the ratskeller
tongues creep around beers
catch my face in the mirror
wan consort boxed in walnut


this cold blue-black night
like the bottom of the sea
mariana trench
spine-straight, I carve my way home
ceaseless shark, my dagger jaw


summerwarm evening
and familiar street faces
appear everywhere
I want to touch each shoulder
celebrate our survival


branchtips dyed chartreuse
unfolding infant leafbuds
and dusty catkins
the air is pollen thick and
hums like a swarm of mayflies


roll in like a fog
blur my vision to greasestreaks
blackjack my temple
I waiver in a bus seat
blank behind my sunglasses


hang my heart within
a tangled nest of wires
snakes and octopi
scrub the suction-cup bruises
swollen collarbone kisses


halo of whiskers
trembling, charcoal fluff-cloud
back feet tense as wire
rodent heart ticking between
my laced fingers, soft-pressed palms


crimson el topo
against the messy landscape
purple swirling sky
bang the butt of your rifle
on your hip and start shooting


bachelor evenings
hot peppers and canned black beans
cheap beer, sliced lemon
lay with an open window
and parse the chants of songbirds


triangle tendons
nerves pull tight and knot like snakes
the spine, finned backbones
stretch my pale skin taut, reveal
the punch of blood, the ill node


thunderheads migrate
like lowing cattle into
the river valley
darkness drops, a black hide hung
and hooves spark distant rumbles


two pointed brown wings
harnessed by a scrap of bone
newsprint thin ribcage
sleek swoop of death hinged in flight
and pinned to the warming dirt


microscopic gemstone grit
caustic white luster
sugar split on the counter
blown diamond mine, bad omen


confluence of wires
street corner trapeze knotted
with morning dove coos
spring touches every rowhouse
the throat of every sparrow


huddle in the cave
day-drinking light beer, folding
cards on wet bar top
sun-blind afternoon can wait
burn our backs on the walk home


my magnet blood pulls
and aligns, dark avenues
pheromones and beer
steetlight on my knotted neck
venus rules this house tonight


the era of thaw
falcons turn their rooftop eggs
and hunt, merciless
explosion of white feathers
in the tender newborn grass


he showed up again
hiking through my horoscope
a glacial presence
dark beard in forest shadows
blue-eyed Scot my dead double


bad-luck vaudeville boy
and his gamine pool pennies
for a boardwalk date:
empty pockets, shared hotdogs
and a swift daylight tumble


orion glitters
over our bare heads, dark streets
the hill-walk homeward
we pass from peak to plateau
sleepy tableland village


grey shadow crying
in the corner of the room
squat haunches, bared teeth
I fold the cat in my arms
her wounded purr, her heartbeat


gravel parking lot
tucked in the woods, dusty bricks
and the first sunshine
coatless in the spring breeze
beads of light on your shoulders