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

Our Most Precious Blood

flows through
the center of everything
we drown in drought

a worm’s eye view
it’s not what you think
without eyes

light receptors reveal
an entrance best witnessed
from the side

without ears
trees sense vibrations
to tell the truth without lips

to cross all the rivers
that have ruined me
all the rivers we have ruined

I take the train
it is never enough
the photo shared / breath erased

do I want to know
the truth about that red
stain on the curb

blue pipes run along the ceiling
I hope new weather ice debris
doesn’t hit the fish

swimming close to the pond’s surface
libraries with green roofs
no matter what size

I curse the book
that won’t lay flat
a vertical/horizontal dilemma

a girl who loves tall buildings
and a grid with a wild
tangle of trains running beneath

resurrection of the Cuyahoga
reminds me
of our beautiful thirst

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

Out of Order

is this a jisei
the way I love fall
more than any other season

the way a sax wails
out an open window
from an apartment building

across the street
to turn my life into a scene
from a film noir classic

a gray cat licks its paw
on a window sill
one floor up

if it weren’t so
black and white
you could see the leaves

on the maple below
turn red
as death

this life
no longer

wild white horses
running through the marshes
of Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer

trample over a blank
page to be filled
by another day into night

I’m trapped inside
a bathroom with a tempermental lock
in a door prone to swelling

dangerously / a copy of
The Prison Diary of Ho Chi Minh
the only reading material available

“And through the air-hole
the moon smiles
at the poet”

Amitav Ghosh reads
from his new novel
Gun Island tonight

inside a church chapel
far from the basement
banter below

where will those horses
and fellow flamingos go
when the Rhône delta drowns