a springwarm leap day
pulling dusty strings of morning glories
from where, in death, they hug the chain-link

now piled on the softening dirt
still kinked, knot of decay


sprawling like an open hand,
the spider plant
cast down a feeler
sewn with pearls -
five white flowers


reemerging into the sight
of a thousand sidewalk eyes
my skin feels soft
and penetrable
like a freshly molted cicada


the stones, in daylight
nosed by grazing oxen,
grow weird in darkness -
vestibule to the wicked wild,
a place to sharpen teeth and run


she comes to the door
with snow-wet hair
and a gleaming white light
like Clara Barton pulling
a lantern from her cape


in the unlit kitchen
i brew coffee and stand
barefoot, watching
stone-black clouds
cascade down the mountain


the hour spent
eating bread and butter
with my small son,
sitting at his toy table
in the dusty morning light


snap awake from a
gut-clench nap, gasping
in a roil of sweat -

outside the grey world
is barely humming


keep the window cracked open,
let oceandark night seep
through the screen -
octopus ink billowing
through a sailor's trawl


late winter riot of spring -
wind licking bare skin
held out in the sunshine,
skulls filled and overflowing
with phlox and poppy


when the wet night pulls close
with a braided melange:
spilled beer, old sweat and
the sweet tang of underarms, 
like it was summer


after the men left, we flew 
to the corners of the winter hut
(where sealmeat hung from sinew)
screamed and shook, scrape-jawed until
our teeth clattered in airless, sunless still


His hands,
small as dormice,
pull through his hair;
thin reeds of harvest -
bird fluff, milkweed.


daddy, bus-tired with a
backpocket necktie dangling
like a tiger tail,
fetches our lost crayon
from under the fridge


the obstinate little donkey
who once snapped her rein
to ransack sunwarm muscats
now wearily circles the bottom of the canyon -
swirl of blood in the cold creek


valentine's drive by:
florescent muzak nausea
in the hothouse,
icicle exitwounds in the
salt-rimmed parking lot


the baby naps
face pushed into the sheet like
he's wriggling down an anthill,
butt up, knees tucked,
caught in a beautiful dive


i fell out of a tree
crashed my bike
gave birth, suffered, split and
i think i need a band-aid


i peeked
into the soft cleft
and a red eye


soft waking skin pillowing
a furrow of bruise and blood
in a painstaking reveal:
slice the hide from a stonefruit
and trace its yawing veins


my son, you are silent
as a river seen from a high hill;
but when I traverse your shore
collecting pebbles, I swear
I hear my name 


when he collapses, howls
digs his face into the floorboards
i am blind to everything beside
his meager ribcage, his neck
slender and strong as a sapling


the block-long scab of dog turds 
and cellophane may well have been
forty arid years; broken moses, I
said a prayer for snackcakes unbought
and perished in the glow of the far unimart


i was nearly swooning
when the call came:
swan-necked, dizzy from
cut skin, gleeful with
good news


his arched heel
held high as a pup's hock
traces a phantom pain;
his hobbled steps,
this unnameable wound


those strange-god surgeons stole 
my rough pearl and threw me back:
a halved clam,
loose rake of gills wet
with my sandy blood