From Seed to Glass

Prairie vodka—a beverage
I will never taste. Made in Minnesota.
Property tax—a phrase
I’ll never utter

in Minnesota
or anywhere else. Show tune—
a collection of verses
I will never

memorize. I see rhinoceros—
a warping I will never stop
laughing over.

Organic drunk—
an oxymoron I still remember
how to translate.

1991: A Poem

Dream. Premonition. Mortality
begins now. I give him an anecdote
in a letter—he’ll never receive
my gift. If equilibrium exists, where’s my

ecstasy? My sister and I watch boats go
up and down the terrifyingly calm

Cuyahoga. Aboard the floating
Heartbreak Hotel, it’s all so close—
the banks of the river, a rail bridge ahead, the crushing
of fantasies. But it doesn’t happen

that way. The world begins to tip in a slowed motion. Sights
and sounds expand beyond their original limits. I watch

from another planet as he walks up the aisle. A kiss,
a hand in hand. Shall I be so bold
as to ask you? He asks. We kiss
as if the elevator door would never open again. Lovely

feet and hands. Brown eyes that turn cloudy
green or bottomless black at will—not his. When

he makes love, he talks. He loves
those vocal chords. I retreat
to the lobby bathroom to check
if I’m still wearing

my own skin. Is it mine? Still? Indeed.
Gravity is overrated.

Euphony

Suddenly evening crowds
the street—a quickened
descent—September
acceleration
into darkness cooling
and smiling upward—there
moon, there moon.