Two Years Smoke Free (Or, David Bowie’s Birthday)

Wild winter wishes
rumble through weeds. A plain
for practicing

freedom cartwheels. Late
afternoon fog, or
are they low-lying

clouds dancing just above
freezing? No more

halo, I make my way home
without rings.

It Was More than the Wrong Piano

Suddenly she realizes
she’s been reading
the wrong book
and following the wrong
rules. And living in the wrong
neighborhood in the wrong
city. And working at the wrong
job and playing the wrong
piano. Wearing the wrong
smile. Loving the wrong
man. And she wonders

what’s so wrong
with wrong.

Vintage Remake

Dumpster divers go
deep into the dense
castaway fray

seeking souls
sold, gifted, re-gifted,
sold again. Is their retrieval

performance art? I set
the stage with a table,
chairs, worn-out dresses,
a suede jacket bought
used, old bookcases,
more than one pair
of black boots. Am I the set

designer or merely
an enabler?

Questions to ask next time
the lid slams too hard.

Fracture Critical

I am the waterfront
cottage you refuse
to abandon

after another super
storm. I refuse
to be redundant. I am

one more tragic
hero in a long line

of them swimming
in the undertow
after dark. Could be

avoided. It’s the heel not ankle
deep water. I am
never coming back.

Accidental Home

To calculate the life
expectancy of a book
case, to remember terracotta
dreams, to believe
in old-fashioned raindrops,
to imagine pianos

appearing on parade
in other cities, to be
proud not to have gotten
a tattoo in this town
after all

is to be making it
up as I go along.

New Day One

The back alley becomes
a graveyard
for worn couches.

Nine degrees
doesn’t feel too bad
if I stay away

from bridges and river
banks. Icicles formed
unnaturally still remain

on bare tree branches
in the yard
where firefighters fought

and lost
a year-end battle. A raging one,
it took down

a 100-year-old multiplex
home with pillars.
How can I leave you behind

in a year so scorched?
Give me a sign

that your spirit has made it
through wind chill to now.