Go Back to Rockville

As soon as

we bring
your ashes east
to rest
where you began

as soon as

we hear
the bagpipes grieve
wailing beauty
against stone

as soon as

perfectly selected
hymns are sung,
prayers murmured,
eulogy declared, another
poem read

as soon as

we reach
the engraved
memory of your parents
and second sister—
the baby before you

as soon as

your ashes
are properly returned
to earth’s secure

as soon as

you are
released, I will
begin again.

Or Save It for Later

It’s the 21st century—these poems must
dance, conduct

a four-string quartet, transmit tiny
3D images of a pixelated

soul. They must move
the way they’ve always had to.


For MJN crossing beneath,
for NYC connecting across,
for The Brooklyn Bridge rescue working destiny

Advance your vantage
point, collapse
your facade of steel,
your gutted concrete floor.

Collide your bridge maker
with mine, collage your hand over mouth
with my eyes shut,
vocal chords in strangulation—

a scream
a void

to coalesce to convalesce
on one promenade
of material unidentifiable yet.
Coordinate the crossing—

bare feet
ash caked faces

no veil could protect,
suits meaningless, ties undone
till they become arms swaying.
A human chain

of events. A human
behavior changing—
no way

They designed bridges
to be passageways.
Make them good
to get no further

than this. It is still where it has been,
the destination stands
between these pedestrian elevating towers
still here.

Last Blue Moon

She divides her days into
before and after

he died.

Into with and without. Into
physical and spiritual.
She believes
in god in phases

of the moon’s breaking
open to become sliced
beams of light. A blue one
puts him to rest.

Ten Days In

An invisible hand
rips pages
in the dark. There are
hungry ghost
editors looking to be
fed. Perforated thought
slips through
translucent clutches—
a porous wisdom
visible from the river’s west bank.

27 August 2012

For My Father

The Mississippi flows
a calm at my feet
to send the message
in ripple effect:

I must trust
that your spirit will continue
to guide and nudge me
(despite inevitable snags) the way

you always did
when you were alive.