A R I E L , L O C K E D I N T H E T R E E S
I have been here so long,
and never known anyone—
in leaves. I never knew
an undisturbed peace
to grip my sedulous fear.
I have taken to seeing
things as part whole.
The maples smolder pyrite,
a kinder corollary
left breathing inside.
The dead ash trees
in mottled vertices
against the far, flimsy blue.
B L A C K F R I D A Y ,
C O F F M A N C E M E T E R Y R O A D
Kitsch cottage for my honeymoon, obelized
in life’s logbook— it’s view of many mansions.
The floor slants and the roof is low on both
stories. Here a farm tenant clan numbering
a dozen pastured ruminants and wintered
the gold limned shadow receding to moraines.
Every job is hard and every job is boring
my wife counsels when I oppose my work.
Weightless bulls in the hills lay to the earth
and chew what has been eaten. Wind notes
and flakes suffuse the air. What is certain
more than any lone thing is love shown to me.
Dusk briefly welcomes a light beyond the sky.
T H E H I S T O R Y O F L E A D
Inside of me a Tang dynasty pot
with timid arched handles,
and a flourished lip
exactly the width of a thumb.
From a kiln, you, pot in the hands
of a dignitary, or in abeyance
and behind glass
determine what and how I contain,
but without ever deserving to touch it.
I carried Roman water
like a trickster god, for miles
miles of my skin,
skewered through seven hills,
and I sickened their minds
even as they thrived.
In scratchings of later dictation
my body was crushed for veracity
like that of a saint: became
a manifold voice, wildernesses—
the clefts and serifs of my blood
visited in reliquary.
And for a long time now
I have run from sudden fires.
What I do out of fear
I lay at your feet.