The Old Seduce

let’s start over
as if we could
carry the limestone
inside our breath

a chokehold and more
we were that couple
seen on the waterfront
wind brushing past our faces

creating drama
where the dark plot had yet to surface
the broken bottles and wooden toy trucks
the single doghouse rose and blackout shriek

let’s start over
before all those deaths
the laundromat a few steps away
before they converted undo into a noun

Near Missing

the silence after the roar
so delicious into another morning

M for motion
the sound of sloshing through

water before

welcome to the wreck
a flow diverted / empowered

repurpose everything
including the planet

to make way for more
intelligent life

the last smoke break
beside the loading dock

years and years ago
a blessing to break

another cycle of addiction
another moment to remember

to exhale
at least occasionally

they’re saying hello
to skyway level arrivals

and I’m still holding onto
this good-bye

the way I refuse to release
the impossible farewell wave

to my father seven years after
sinking his ashes

into Connecticut dirt
I am so many parts

Connecticut dirt
the rest what Massachusetts offers

in glacial till
and longshore drift

The Connecticut and Charles
never cross paths

a 72-mile gap
in the story

remnants of wool mills there
flour here

a ruin resurrection
and that view

of the greatest river
this country has to give away

I will feel the power
of those falls long after this

it’s not a competition
I walk through downtown

end to end twice a day
going on 17 years

cut it in half
ants scatter to freedom

a new pattern
to carve into the chaos

I stand on the balcony
8 stories up

the ruin courtyard below
the Mississippi ever beyond

and ask one more time
what are you so afraid of

the fall or the jump
or the door locking behind you

Unmappable Geography of Grief

This misplaced anger
she wields at the painting

amounts to mistaking still
life for inanimate ink smears

what if she is the it
it is the she or the they

encompassing all gender
options at once

paint thickens edges
and a wetland fringe

around an incidental pond
impasto in the extreme

echoes a bas-relief of waves
if there were any

illuminating the surface
of the bay that calm night

a foghorn heard in the distance
yes that kind of medium bending art

this is fear not
of vibrations in the ground beneath

shaking the frame
off the wall

this is fear of nothing
happening / nothing

waking her
to the moment

an entire island disappears
before dawn

I Won’t Steer

The answer is
I’m inconsistent.

Were the oceans rising
when surrealism was all the rage?

How many points get deducted
for wandering off

topic? Wandering off
the planet before

the penultimate storm.
The snag after the fire.

One system. One blunt
conversation not blunt enough.

One more turn
of the wheel.

I don’t know how.
I don’t want to know how.

I want to know why
the signs were torn down.

The glottis expands. Golden toads no longer
live in the elfin cloud forest.

Who Forgets to Lock the Cellar Door

it looks like the fog
hovering over the city
won’t clear in time

from vault to vat
he measures the thickness
of the foam

in her magic goblet
as his gold
fillings dance in muted light

shadows of old worlds
cut across a prairie
to reveal how

he might fall
before her
and her damn poetic portal

where the angle of swing
becomes a fatal arc
to their story

the perfect clearance
till humidity
and latent humility

jam up the works
swollen wood becomes Cupid
to their destruction

no more solo flights
circling the globe
no more lone albatross

half brain sleeps
through another glide
into another hot night

someone mentions Lancers
lamps her grandmother made
from brown clay pot wine bottles

suddenly appear
in her half brain
awakening to an old dormitory loft

and a swollen pinky
not cool enough
to be broken

water water
every where above
she misses the salt