These Old Repressed Gargoyles

No position to be in, vertebrate
lips stick together standing
up. Does the female possess 

the male, or does he just swim
upside down? That damned secretion is used 

for balance. Incapable of flight—
two hundred eggs still 

to be transferred. If only
propulsion ended here. 

(found poem from Science Is Fiction: The Films of Jean Painlevé, edited by Andy Masaki Bellows and Marina McDougall with Brigitte Berg)

True Urban North

Another bundle up surprise
to dodge the moaning
bulk of one sanitation
truck in fall snow sputter 

and mount is too soon, is to
become extinct not soon enough.

Could Be Ambidextrous

All the beautiful
moments have been taken.
What’s left 

in my releasing
hands is this—
truthful seep into the less 

elastic skin of memory.

Today’s Delivery

Song crosses a bridge
wood-cut, film is
cabin built and framed 

inside a postage stamp
she would be afraid to use
unless she were to write 

you a letter for
wallpapering another dead 

letter office.  We all live
there at some point
on the span we cross, 

oblivious and blinded by the crashing
irony of an ocean
called peace.

Sworn In On Out

She never takes room—a spillover
lover from his last book
of bed times 

and sleeping porches
in a town so much 

warmer than here. Where
he would say fuck out
loud, she would be a collapsed 

chorus of giggles:
Who is this
who makes me fall  

down so easily into
spasms without withdrawal,
not even from a drop 

of espresso
that woman splattered 

on her way out the door? But
he sings it instead, and that
just makes her stand steady for more.

Make It, Lie In It

Frost on the empty
bottle in a dying
bed, I don’t know what to make             

of this month’s crisp cache.
A locked black metal trunk affixed
to a downtown
bus shelter’s glass 

backing holds those same
secrets—no public access, and I’m not 

ready to go so private without
you, crawling along, ready
to wrap my swollen feet
in your final scroll.

Conference Runaway

A gloat and a gleam
you can’t see through
an old phone mouth 

piece. Our imagination collective
could be oval shaped
and who would know. Come 

sit beside me in this
potted plant meltdown
we’ve created without 

the use of virtual
eyes or ears. Our strut
could be next up.

Aroma Therapy

“There’s the present moment fraught with tangled woods.”
—Jack Kerouac, from Big Sur 

The doctor who’s not really
a doctor
yet asks her to find her 

safe place with eyes closed, to lie
on her back, see
nothing but that brown orange 

noise of inner eye
lids till it comes 

into focus—the edge 

of a field blurred into a pine forest so ripe
with needle
bed mint sweetness. 

All kisses before it got so complicated 

and the sun peeking through just
to wave hello 

and see you later when you get up
from your daydream—
I mean hers. 

It was her death to be 

so awake before all of you without
a cleared path
to escape along. It is about 

feet first, it turns out.

Fall Down Green

Overheard. I don’t need a sitting
room, I need 

a universal
room where you can go 

to burn
off surprise. And kindling 

would be so because
these are ginkgo leaves 

and this is October
and that is snow.