the well of his mouth
hollowed to cloudless sky
moaning in drought;
buckets of warm milk drawn
and split from his throat, soured


motheaten limestone
gone lacy from rain, years
of wind-whipped hilltops
sugarcubes dissolve, we forget
the names of dead neighbors


federal street boogie
jitney drivers, dinner rush
pocketchange jingle
shake a tailfeather, carry
a case of beer down the street


mechanical clicks;
splint-knee automaton
radios the dusk
his elegant chameleon stride
the shaky flashlight beam


Hour of sun and grass,
Leaf hopper punctuation
Dotting bent pages.
Book splayed on my chest, today
I am nobody's mother.


squint through the fog
half-tasting with dry tongue
the strung words unwritten
chain of my day lost to the
squirming babe in my belly


sip a glass of pop
elbow deep in warm laundry;
the radio's thin whine
is the pulled nerve of toothache
this slatted snowfall afternoon.