Ice Out

Light is always years away,
so when it’s here, it’s gone,
like us, when we’re on 60, going 90,
your windowed reflection there
so that I see through your love,
the drink of you spilling from me
and taken by the winter molt of lakes,
like an all-in poker hand, winning you,
swallowing you
whole through the teeth of tamarack,
doing this, not touching,
encrusted in, like your spirit said it would,
in the eye pits of a moose,
taken down by wolves
on the first day we said
we knew it had to be Spring.

A room in the house

There is no need to believe in God
when we feel the soul, which the body gives to us, 

and I believe that today nothing’s
as lovely as the woman singing from the kitchen, 

the arms of her blouse pulled up to her elbows,

her hair slipped back behind the ears, 

her small hands kneading through
the walnut cutting board’s coarse dough,
which forms a sculpture of flour in the white air,
all of which I cannot see,
but know is there 
because this
is what I have been given
to breathe.

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.