1. weigh
2. polling
3. train
4. filling
5. space
6. police
7. bus
8. first aid
9. fire
10. subway
11. work
12. TV
13. weather
14. way

And the radio plays without stanza break deep into another Friday night at the end of March.


she knows about near drowning
that boy in the pool
is her brother

she fishes for lefthanded
compliments with a seine net
made of prairie grass

and urban river sweat

back to the boy
her sisters rescue

they grip his chubby little ankles
shake him upside down
water and leaves spilling from his mouth

frozen in place
she watches from an upstairs window
as the sisters save the brother’s life

months later tests show
no evidence of dry drowning
damage to the brain

the story begins
as a bond between siblings
becomes one between mother and son

she is the most reliable narrator
she can be at age 10

back to standing perfectly still

in lefthanded river muck
with the sun capturing
a startling silver shimmer in her hair

back to loving to swim
in oceans best

Sibyl Is Alive and Unwell by All This

Frenzied, under the influence
of one oddly calm chthonic deity,

I follow some secret motet
to its chromatic source.

I see vapor failures
in this cliff that bluffs

safety on a questionable plateau.
The sickly sweet smell of snake

head rot won’t lure
the Round Island burrowing boa

out of extinction. And Sudan’s death
leaves Najin and Fatu

to graze in their shrunken crash, awaiting
in vitro fertilization.

African elephants are next—
I sing of drowning and dying of thirst.


1, 2, 3
testing is now
complete / poetry
will resume
based on true events
of the imagination
as snow falls
all over
the vernal equinox


if you rescue
the whooping crane

what about
the akikiki

or southern rockhopper penguin
or yellow-faced bee

gray bat
or red wolf

staghorn coral
or monkey puzzle

Noah’s excuses for taking another
swig of the wine bottle