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.
admits, your life
means nothing; still you hope
for it, like a sail rigged
to become a shape
of surprise, to transport
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.
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.
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.
Mostly what you will tell about me
will only be what happened.
How does he live with himself,
you will say to them.
And they will look to you, then,
to try to find their own place
in the world of your
I can never find the words for failure,
the mistake of light.
I can’t tell;
is that you?
You knew, didn’t
you? I did,
the elevator – and then,
all at once
no facetious remark about
the garden of piss,
as though, you,
after many years,
inured to it,
that it only symbolized
the thing you were ashamed
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
so I waited
in the red carpet
for forty years
writing this very long poem
with a pen and paper
the garbage bag
that you had said to
pack my shit with.
and near night
to die and lay
for it, or
of each place,
to enter earth
to take us
there, the bird
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.