Before You Go

I watch if you’ll see me with your smile.
I see you as you get ready.
I see already as the brush travels
through your hair.
I see as you dust on your makeup.
I see as you reach for the sheets
that have dried on the line.
I listen as you laugh with the kids.
I listen as the dogs bark at your car.
Then, I watch as the birds burst from the light
that filled in the trees.

Caterpillar

In the morning, the night
still in me, I catch her, a face,
a revelatory pose, and eyelids seamed
with two black caterpillars set upon cheekbones
regarding the teeth
working to pull apart
meat from the left-over t-bone in her hand,
and I stare, amazed. I know nothing
about this woman. How she will devour me.
What she will become.

Downtown

The sun, of course, makes no sense today,
like the drunken fucks that just spilled
a pitcher of beer across the sidewalk.
It makes it all come to me, the blindness
that overturns what you’ve kicked
in the ribs, to keep down.
I am trying to cross through traffic,
and why not follow that stream?
It knows the way when it’s lost.
I wanna be that thing that says sorry
without wanting one more thing,
who knows the epiphany of vomit
as it licks it up, the glitter of sun
pissing all over the sidewalk.
I’m trying to let words tell the truth,
those heartless bastards, that could do with
one more, what the hell,
one more chance.

Lately

I am looking for something new.

I stare at my books. I am looking out the window.

I would like to say, Junebugs are speaking

to the stars, though that barely means

what I want it to.

Lately, I’ve been so calm, you say.

And I realize you are looking out a window

at me, looking for something old,

something the stars sang with.

Garbage Day

You knew, didn’t
you? I did,
when you
drove me
to Scarborough,
took the
the elevator – and then,
all at once
you said
nothing,
no facetious remark about
the garden of piss,
as though, you,
after many years,
had become
inured to it,
that it only symbolized
the thing you were ashamed
to say.
And when we came
to her door, you knocked,
a signal, it turned out,
for you to turn
and leave, and go to
another door –
and for a long time
she did not come to
my door,
so I waited
in the red carpet
tunnel
for forty years
writing this very long poem
with a pen and paper
I pulled
from
the garbage bag
that you had said to
pack my shit with.

Beauty Lake Rd.

All afternoon
and near night
this deer
inside me
scenting for
its place
to die and lay
together,
this
deer, this
me,
we search
the sky
for it, or
the light
of each place,
to enter earth
’til finally
we see,
stepping
into
our tracks
to take us
there, the bird
that turns
air into
rivershape.

Mariela

I never called you, did I,
before you died. Maybe,
I knew too much, already.
We made love
in that TV-lit motel room,
in Vermillion Bay,
left my glasses by the bedside
digital clock, afterwards,
as you and I lay together,
I saw through a part
of you: a few strands
of your hair, the blurry channel
I left on mute, cracked,
but too bright, too.