Another Shy Kettle

All blinged out in
black metal mesh,
she doesn’t wait
for the bell lap

to rush out the back door
into another beautiful cloudy mess

of a morning.
Nothing left to stare at
or boil. Is it a deadlift
or a heavenly drop

empty handed onto a bridge?
She wishes she could see the ocean

or one of the Great Lakes
through the hole
in the wooden deck—
not 16 lanes of traffic.

And then she vanishes
without so much as a whistle.

There Were Rabbits

Everywhere in the rain.
No thunder. No falling
leaves yet. Wet pavement.
And rabbits. Everywhere

there are wheels
that fell off. A hill
to reckon with. There were words
everywhere in the woods

beside the street.
Stuck to stories
that no one remembers
to tell for years. Words

she would rather sing
than say aloud.
A melody gets entangled
in the branches.

Whole chunks bitten off.
Parallel grooves brand
the bark. A subtle plot
becomes a whittler’s carving.

How those fragments get teased out
remains a secret
only Sappho could whisper
into truth. Not her.

Listening to Jimi Hendrix’s version
of “All Along the Watchtower”
in a van heading to the North Shore,
she’s the one who will slice open

a red cabbage to reveal
the beautifully tragic
spiraling section. Enough
of a lullaby to calm all

those rabbits to sleep.
Or, in another compartment, residue
from immortal sweat (or,
are those tears) tames the urge to kill

off another oracle.
And bless the no-see-ums
that swarm so late
into September.

A Violent Striking Together of Two Bodies

The intensity of calm. The brevity
of long summer days. Free radical

wellness. She can’t justify using
the word oxymoron in a poem.

She can’t justify
any poem she’s written—

left, full, or ragged
right. She’s more dash,

less of a mark. More ruin, less
shame. More hypo, less hyper.

She’s a hand stretching to strangle
a throat into an interesting effect.

A song spoken first. A lullaby iuxta.

Less horizontal, she’s more
a tree not yet ready to crash.