Eraser Dust

A chalkboard to record the names
of childhood heroes. It would be better
if they could rhyme. It would be better

if they could be segregated
from the ones accumulated
later in life. No relatives. No future

lovers. No dead people—although
there’s one rule I might choose to break
over the sound of that ceaseless clapping.


Footbridges are her chalkboard.
She erases the night
with her tongue. No spitting

allowed. If she could write
like you used to
speak, she’d drop

all R’s
(reading, ‘riting, ‘rithmetic)
to make room for one long

queue that snakes
along those unmarred banks.
But she just can’t do it.

Only When You Accused Me of Starving Myself

Let’s agree to disagree
about this anger
I don’t feel. Only
those numbers in your handwriting
erased from a chalkboard
30 years ago know
how we were supposed to add up

or not. A psychology
of emotions cannot qualify

the spirit in the slate,
a song over the dugout,
stanzas hidden in the threshold
we passed through
so many times
without thinking to pause
long enough to honor the reveal.