Poem About a Poem

I read one poet, then think of another,
and then from her, another.
You mention you dislike poems
about poetry. I do, as well, but tell me,
how many poems about poetry
can you show me are about poetry?
Think about every author of the Old Testament,
stone mazes of words, their numinous millennia,
yet forbidden to enunciate or to spell out,
for the faithless eyes,
the full name of their beloved.
Now think about the plague of crickets
outside the window, me turning from
the moth-glow of the computer on the table
to enter the unlit yard so that I may listen as they
arrange their utterances on the strands of reeds,
fanned out along the creases of the river,
so that I might hear your name mentioned
by the darkness.

About the Storm

What were we
to each other?
How you said I was like the rain
pouring myself into you
from a roof in a storm?

But I wonder now,
about that storm
angrily stomping
from roof to roof,
after, how the rain
stuck us to its sadness.

The Republic of Plastic

I think of the skein of plastic
plunging off the coast of Santo Domingo,
thrown away like trash by
you and me.
I think of the gulf stream
gathering
the debris of an airplane,
dripping from air,
from the war,
from the ends of the world,
from my things floating on
your lawn’s foam
of melting snow,
that I could have stayed here,
in the wet light of your eyes,
for a thousand years, as well.

Downspout

Your life never went anywhere.
It stayed with you,
like that poem you lost about your father
that you wrote in ’86
about the bicycle leaning against
the downspout in the rain.

Argument

The flowers printed on your teacup
by your lips just now,
or rather the flowers on a vine
circling.
We stir.
Fingerprints mark
time,
coil away
like our faces turned to
bees, our
sweetness stuck
to darkness.
So tiny,
or rather so far,
the flowers on
your teacup
singing
distant bells
Or, the bee humming like
a spoon.

Abeyance

I look up the word.
I google it, actually,
which may,
or may not,
be ironic.
I also happen to be on the 33rd floor.
Here, windows turn-away mist,
and ventilation
purrs airplane thoughts
against
the body
that
gravitates towards
the middle ground
of rib, or elbow,
and finally the mist
of my breath turned-away
on the window.
I sit still, crouched,
like a victim,
this comfortable chair,
that is not comfortable.
I wait.
In my chest, I wait
for a feeling
of falling,
until that is the only way left,
the only way through.
It will land in me.
My body will swallow it,
tasting like flight.

Aegeus

I watch as my son
on the tongue of
the rock
stirs his feet over
the water,
deep
as air,
feet like
two hummingbirds
that tease their
brothers from
the underworld, who
rise up to feed
in his country
of dance and shimmer
to plunge for a time
like me
in the ocean
of his world.

Orange

I am at a table with an orange I’ve peeled,
like pages knuckled and palmed.
I held your palms once,
as if you had given them to me
to prove I would not understand
what I would taste.
I know now,
with these peels in my fingers.
I understand how far they reach,
and eventually
their thinness,
the depth they could not go
without bone,
even the sweetness.

baby

baby
this morning
I told you that
lust is thirst,
and your body happens to be 65 percent water,
though
I meant to say
that if this
composition might on
the off chance
compose
a soul
then
what we
carry
are clouds
of fine rain,
or on those
special occasions,
drifts of snow
soaring from that
bridge
above us.

The last thing

The last thing I said was, are you awake?
You watched me out of your darkness.
Last week, you painted your bedroom black.
Said it made you feel yourself again.
Brings back storms that scared you as a girl,
Made you sneak to your bedroom and sleep.
These days you dye your hair, to stain time.
You were always back there, luster
on the wet dark grasses of the silent-smelling
stars and the oval nests of birds and the weight
of dreams, wading up to my heart.
Wild blackbird in your tiny cage,
wake inside me.