A landscape formed, rocks
that dissolve
over time, inside the cave
smiles are felt,

not seen. From there
a walk along
an unnatural canal,
his eyes don’t adjust

so quickly. A pair
of shades and he’s ready
to destroy myths:

Bats can see.
Tornadoes can pummel
downtown church steeples.
Some people can go

home. He’s not
one of them.

The Second Time You Visited Me in a Dream Were We in the Algarve?

We sit beside a pool
inside a villa’s iron gates. A foreign country—
which one? Do you
live here? I know

I don’t. Take my driver,
you say. I don’t want to
leave. I try to get
your attention. Why

is this box
full of water? Something sloshes
inside. But when I lift the lid
all I see is

a science pamphlet
written in English. I read
the words aloud to you
hoping for a humorous phrase

or double entendre too profound
for you to ignore. Karst. Sinkhole.

Biodiversity. Endangered
what? Tourism? Amnesia? Fantasy?

You look me directly in the eye, or
you see a greater
flamingo land on the stone wall
behind me. Whoever blinks first—

Moon at 6:28 am

A dew droplet. Bubble
in silhouette. A hole-punched
hole perforates
the sky. Remove the rusted

O and take
a look inside. If
the peephole is too
high, lower

your expectations. Low

lower slowest
way to count
clouds interfering
with a direct route

to the interior
of the other side.


Eventually we begin
to repeat ourselves—the same three
chords, color
pattern, farewell
line in a breakup
text, taste
of ginger
on the tongue. Everything

becomes someone’s
déjà vu, even the truest
saudade expressed
on the side
of a broken
boat in a field.

Step on
my shadow, but don’t
float away
before I recall
your first private
murmurs at dusk.


Inverted, elongated,
fringed, unfringed, banged, shingled,
side-parted at the nape
of the neck, scandalous,
modern, cloched, graduated,
shaggy, buzzed,
A-line, revolutionary,
mere fashion statement, angry
flower, or wayward guitarist
sleeping on your porch.

Middle November Night

A picture falls
off the wall
in my dream. Nothing
breaks. No explanation

necessary in my dream. The room
changes shape. Misaligned

pelvis or sacrum
or love
of lighthouses
could cause this

pain felt when awake. In my
dream, numb and suspended

and just
out of reach.

Bridge Texture

The knitter in a café
whispers to herself—is it

do drop
or don’t

a stitch? An allergy
to wool is not the same
as a fear

of sheep
staples. Those long blunt
needles could be

walking sticks
for gods or
batons for

conducting accidental
pauses in an unclaimed song.

Never End a Poem with Home

Without permission,
her pilot light
blue eyes lock
onto a boldly painted
arrow on a sign.

It points left
to a back room
she knows well but
not from this angle. It’s not
a secret to be

uncurled. Another sign
in another place
on another street points
left too. Blocking
the only revolving

door in sight, it says in chalk:
“Use Revolving Door.”
This is how messages
come undone without being
erased. It takes 12 years

to put Adam back together
from shattered marble

fragments. Blue

weakens to yellow.
An 85-year-old
woman gets raped
in her apartment. The weakest

flame is a murmur
that signals some
of us home.

Without Stanzas

Is that a surgical mask
on his face or
a desk lamp obstructing
my view? A cube

in the middle
of the room
could take up
all the space

in my head. Contaminated
thoughts could become
the beginning
of someone

else’s master
work—or a brief
ode to the long gone

70s without stanzas.

Thieving Again

Fiddlers translate
the sound of water
rushing over creek
bed stones into string

music. Editors meddle
sometimes for the better,
sometimes worse. I am
no musician no

architect no dancer no
doctor no comic javelin
thrower no no
gardener code

specialist no secret
agent no no just

a meddler sometimes
the one

meddled with. Mettle left
over another hymn to write.