In a dream,
my favorite lost dress returns.
Wrinkled and dusty,
it had fallen

to the bottom of the walk-in
closet. Those edges
won’t curl
in the dark. A crawl space

becomes a secret passageway
between your sisters’
bedrooms. No one should leave us
alone back there.

First kiss, first trip
to New York City,
the bicentennial year
winds down.

Every bathroom doubles
as a severe weather shelter.
Even the brightest
aureole fades

to nothing
on foggy December mornings.

A clay horse
head explodes
inside a kiln
on the other side of the lake.

To unclutter the sky
at the tail end
of another shoulder season
is to mean everything

you say, even the words
that get trapped between your teeth.

Please don’t let this view
deep into another northern night
be the final whitecap
that crashes

before it reaches the jetty. Useless
foam that cannot salvage our drowning

hearts. Our fingers will never touch
memory’s true mud. Will never work
rooms like worry stones
under the hot light.

That thing you make
will be a poem some day.
I wish I could burn a bridge
just for a little while.

Nothing would collapse.
The sun would rise again.
You would give yourself over
to laughter and another cup

of black coffee
in an empty tavern.

I speak to horizontal,
then diagonal,
finally vertical
transportation experts.

They reveal nothing
about the journey
into the center
of a warm shell

where geothermal heat kicks in
just as the hidden people
from that dream I can’t shake
whisper coded messages

about what might become
of all this raw space.

And I confess to longing
for that cold afternoon in 1976
when you buy the Farrah Fawcett poster
from a 34th Street sidewalk vendor,

as I stand next to you
trying to memorize the motion
of our first subway ride
to tide me over till I return.

5 thoughts on “Non-Consanguinity 

  1. One of my favorites. Full of great lines — “I wish I could burn a bridge / just for a little while,” “our drowning / hearts. Our fingers will never touch / memory’s true mud” — but also a flow that feels true to it all — tenderness, desperation, time, time, “the journey / into the center” … Every time I read this one, the ripples have spread out a little wider. Sign of a poem that works.

    Liked by 1 person

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