(For Tim Skeen)
"Poetry / makes nothing happen" –Auden
"yet men die miserably every day /
for lack / of what is found there" –William Carlos Williams
Your poems arrived in the mail today;
it was enough.
To bed last night at one,
awake at four,
online at five to quote Tim O'Brien
to my soon-to-be-ex-wife:
"You don't have to be in 'Nam
to be in 'Nam."
Back to bed at six,
up at eleven.
Today was it, a trip
to the sporting goods store,
a drive to the mountains,
an echo in the woods.
But I received a phone call
from New Hampshire,
an old friend checking in,
just wanting to say "hello."
And then: the mailman arrived at one.
Aubade for Cecilia
Your tight white women's boxer briefs
squeeze my buttocks, my hips, suction around
my junk pressed against your backside
spooning in your neighborhood
I cannot safely leave alone.
In the morning, you curl your eyelashes
with a cold spoon, your closet nothing but frayed rope tied
from window frame to cheap wooden entertainment center
serving as clothing dresser for you and your young son
living in this tiny studio apartment.
We will never be poorer than this moment,
never richer. And outside your makeshift window
––plywood with a rectangular hole––
dead bodies of impossibly large flying ants
tumble down the sidewalk like Russian thistle
toward the corner convenience store.