On the Slope

She tucks a note
into the flower bed beside

his tombstone to start
an anonymous conversation

with all the other cemetery
saviors who may hit this graveyard

before leaves camouflage
the beginning and end

dates engraved in stone
and mute everything in between.


Hubs and nests and courses
and old men fishing
in the Mississippi
too close to the urban fray

to be anything but
what they are. I’m the fringe
life centrally located. City hermits
will not unite. But on anonymous

jaunts down avenues
going north/south, we nod
as we pass one another
in steady streams.


A raised voice demands
she eavesdrop. She who doesn’t deal
with ice dams.
Just because she rents doesn’t mean

she has a rented life. Owner, author,
anonymous, and all
other echoes—turn up the volume.

Clutching Tags

Aphasia is anonymous
in its demand
that poems be 

without words.
I’m not ready to give 

mine up. The wave
of an ampersand 

ropes them in
just in time.

This Is That Wednesday

No smudge for me.
I don’t succumb to that 

ritual anymore. I like
to keep my soul 


I’ve forgotten how to walk
down city sidewalks marked 

on the outside.
What if someone calls 

my name before
I’m ready? I see one, then two, 

then remember.  A film
maker calls himself 

a freak for wearing a perfect cross
shape. But mine were always 

my forehead off center.