The Eve

She wears
no mask to honor
those dead—in her own
voice. A preoccupation
with cemeteries may end
tomorrow. Or her identity
will be revealed
by other naked means.

I Am Chronic

Each poem, drunk, diary
entry. Each smoke, vitamin,
obsession. Each song
lyric, verbal tick, chapter
read. Each piece
of chocolate, mile
walked, resentment nursed.
I am each reprieve.

Glass Plan

To run a marathon, write
a book, publish
a poem, make
love to a woman, join
a commune, find
a home, see the world,

to call it a day
is to spin my own

epitaph on a 3 x 5
note card, index
my breath, become obsessed
with chasing my own
past, is to take
a long ride on a train.

Token Rolls

With that simple placement
of a single red
rose in your tended
gravesite flowerbed

I say good-bye. Still I see
your face, hear your voice
in strangers conversing
as they do their jobs

in your hometown. Whoever reads
the message I attached to the thorn
will know the code
to break your inappropriate hold

on my life. Some symbols
need to die.

On the Slope

She tucks a note
into the flower bed beside

his tombstone to start
an anonymous conversation

with all the other cemetery
saviors who may hit this graveyard

before leaves camouflage
the beginning and end

dates engraved in stone
and mute everything in between.

Unconsummate

A bed of pine needles
because it’s Massachusetts.
You wear a shirt studded
with diamond-shaped snaps
two nights in a row. I’ll never tell

you how I like the gray
in your beard
the way I told him never
to shave his off
30 years ago. I won’t mix

you up. The music is
immortal. The flowers he grew
were something else.