Her biannual dream
of him gets cut short
by the cat’s early morning
demands. In it, a hotel

room filled with lost
friends bleeds over
a highway bike ride
she would never take

awake. A memory
of drinking vodka
martinis in a tree
under a warm Connecticut

night sky fades into forgetting
the last time she saw

his face: he’s married / everyone’s
married / generalizations
every one of them / a drive
back to New York City after

a Northampton, Mass., wedding /
a carload of drunken
college students at a drive-in
movie theater / a run

by the Long Lane School
( years before the suicide)
at midnight / making love
with a cast

on her foot in a Bronx studio /
those step streets come into play
again / he smoked, she didn’t,
he quit, she started, she quit, the air

they breathe no longer
shared / it’s no longer
early / time
to feed the cat

With or Without Spaces

The man who scrubs
one patch of facade bricks
for hours
could use some

graffiti begone. Must be
an app for that.
An app for this—
I won’t download. How to

tag beauty,
tweet truth.

Here’s what
happened: She dated
a shepherd. But
that’s not it. The basement

beneath the basement
counts. Compact stacks could
be where accidents happen
but never do. Stop.

Reset. Move right. Move left. 140 more
to go.


I wrote a song
for you
that has no title
I wrote a title
for me
that has no poem

slightly surreal

could be a park after
dark don’t go
inside the theater
has been closed
longer than the lifespan
of most dolphins

or meerkats
ever so slightly

surreal could be a weather condition
like ice
what’s the difference

between freezing
rain and hail
between a swarm

of locusts and helicopters
or bees

rising up
to get their revenge

Water Dancer

for Sheri

She knows every inch of the dock,
every splinter, barnacle,
hurricane-spared stilt.

It is not a plank. It’s just where she walks.
And she knows how to dive,
has been doing it for years.

No easing shore side into the wash for her,
she plunges in and is used to it
before others wake.

This is underworld—closets, caves, shelves,
trenches, forests, hydromedusa, brittle
stars, Painlevé’s camera. This is where she should live—

she who in her heart is a sponge
is a sponge is a sponge.

To lay out to dry, to become exposed
to air, the rising sun. It is her death

to be before all of you. She will never work a room,
works the ocean floor
for all it’s worth.

Metal crushes metal, emergency sirens approach closer

and closer. A muffled distortion
underwater. Leave her uncontained.
She would rather synchronize her own sculls outside a tank

than be confounded by a mirage of roses
she can’t reach without a body.