Brood

I remember the number
three and the hill
I drew to depict
life beyond the lagoon.

I remember the three
swings and the starfish
we killed trying
to rescue it.

Turns out they split
in half, transform
from girl to boy to girl again
without our help.

Even then, I knew
to feel guilty

about catching an extra
whiff of gasoline
in the old shingled garage.

Even then, I was
beginning to forget why.

21-Gram Dream

Before I died,
the world flashed a still
photo so quickly
I didn’t have time

to measure its border
against the shore wrack line.

Now a film flickers
on storied brick
with no end or beginning—
only the between.

Everything else
hides behind the wrong
color on the wrong
block. Tin tile

wainscoting wraps
around the hem
of a skirt
no one dares to own.

qual/quan

Inches on a dual scale ruler
splay awkwardly
compared to the centimeters’
compact grid.

So quiet in the cafe,
no eavesdropping
will mark the morning.
Just the sound of

fingertips slamming
MacBook keys, a page
being torn
from an actual notebook,

a ceramic mug gently returning
to the table. My thumb
measures 2 inches, just over
5 centimeters. I can’t decipher

the meaning
in that sliver
of well-worn skin.
Can’t decode

the evolution
of our differences.

The miles or kilometers
that separate our memories.

Those leap seconds
desperately applied

to align
our hearts.

Lining Inside

“The held breath of the world at 5 pm in winter.”
—Garth Risk Hallberg, City on Fire

She keeps her pockets empty.
Daylight is precious this time of year.

She keeps her pockets empty.
Driverless cars will give the unlicensed permission to feel.

She keeps her pockets empty.
Thick gloves interrupt her thoughts indoors.

She keeps her pockets empty.
The time has come to make room for winter.

She keeps her pockets empty.
A small bird chirps behind a tree trunk.

She keeps her pockets empty.
Everywhere else is too full the day after.

She keeps her pockets empty.
The wind slips through so easily.

She keeps her pockets empty.
The park reopens before dawn.

She keeps her pockets empty.
Some skylines regenerate like livers.

She keeps her pockets empty.
No kangaroo crosses her path or breaks her stride.

She keeps her pockets empty.
When an actor forgets his lines, she remembers how to scream.

She keeps her pockets empty.
Geocachers lose themselves inside a discovered letterbox.

She keeps her pockets empty
to make room for an exhale of visible breath.

So Many Questions for a Saturday Morning

Ten degrees below freezing,
a petticoat of ice forms

along the southern edge
of the pond.

Or is it a lake?
What’s the difference?

Do you make weather, or
does the weather make you?

Ask the ducks and geese.
They know. Why

are they still here?
It’s time for them to go.

Quick, before the first snowfall.
Are you shallow or deep?

Does the light go through you
to the bottom?

A month ago
it was a floral lace slip.

Noon will crush morning soon.
Quick, do you

make the weather, or
does weather make you?

City Park Disorienteering

Yo, Brooklyn! Oy, Manhattan!
An elevated freight railway into the High Line.
An underground trolley terminal
could become the LowLine.

Remember the waterfall
under the Brooklyn Bridge.

You’re so left-handed,
just drop the ball
and run. No amount of FoMO
will catch you if

you avoid the beaten

pathology. If you find yourself
lost in your favorite urban
wilderness, look for
that Swedish Cottage

where marionettes reign.

Living a few moments
with strings attached
could help you locate
your next experience.

If you find yourself lost

anywhere near
the finish line,
dig out that chalk,
draw a new line.