Rumble Strip

For non-drivers a dead man’s
curve exposes an inner belt
deep within. Just as suddenly,
just as lethal, just as exhilarating

for the survivor. But I
don’t know if I should accelerate
around this grief.

A Darker Pomegranate

I collect dates
as if they were door
handles. Seek the perfectly shaped one

to build a saudade
life around. Your birth, or death,
or the afternoon you got divorced—

it could be one of those.
But I choose to lock
my eyes on a calendar

with the first day of school
circled in red. Tuesday,
September 2nd, 1980. You looked right

in red. Let the vintage ink
smear. Now I will too.

Green Wave

If I could reduce the number
of times a day I believe

I’m a fraud.
Could understand why

some love objects get
labeled the Symbol,

others the Story—never
the End. If you could still

talk, would you tell me
the truth? Did you think

I was a virgin? Could you tell,
or did the blushing

camouflage fact,
heighten fiction’s glow?

If death has not rendered you
speechless, please spill

your signal over this chorus
chanting me home.

Is There Internet Where You Are?

Yes, I do this thing to live
life twice.
To get a second chance
to say
the right thing, glance
at you
from the right angle,
take charge
when you hesitate,
lean back
in silence when it’s your turn.

I’ll learn to accept all these
little deaths
when you show me how in the next

Civil Delusion

Humor me—let’s pretend
you’re not dead. I’m young
enough to think I can still

drink. To believe you
think about me 30 minutes
before dawn, 30 minutes

after dusk. Not all promises
will be broken. You’ll make me laugh
more than cry. And I’ll see

that ridiculous smile,
those chuckling eyes,
when I can’t stop

writing these poems
about a dead man.

What Flavor Preoccupation

Always a bit of gravel
or tar stuck to the bottom
of my shoe. Seldom
anyone watching
when I knock it off.

Haven’t studied a piece
of sculpture in over a month.
Longer for a painting
on a wall or dance performance
on some specific site.

I’m using
pretzel formation
to collect images
to keep from losing
my mind—you are gone.

How long do I wallow
in your death?
It was so long ago,
your kisses tasted
like smoke, not mine.