where’s the money shot

sunny with a real feel of 5
degrees Fahrenheit

another cruel moment in April
gets trapped under ice

no algae
nothing’s blooming

good or bad
here where the climate trickster

of our own making
never sleeps

Frankenstein’s monster drinks
from the fetid future

has not yet learned
how to lie

he won’t open his eyes underwater
he won’t tell us what he hears

in all that muffled blue
his silence is damaged

if he would declare his damage
it would spill then bleed

into the fibers
of a wrongly-folded map

someone has abandoned
on the frozen ground

remember those

pockets of jamais vu
dot the landscape

with crimson-tinted notes
in the minor key

no one asks to be
the hero image

that spans an iridescent bridge
to nowhere

Another Friend Who Misses Her Dad

Her quiet presence
looms long
and lean—a shadow

cast nearing civil
twilight. Forty years
since she’s stood

before or beside
me, and still
I remember her

long hair the color
of unground coffee
beans. Her bangs. The fresh

laundered scent
she would leave behind
as she rode off on

her banana seat
bicycle through those wooded trails
behind our row

of houses. Some whispers
echo longer
into silver brilliance

than any shrill yelp
of a peacock at large.

Rockford, IL

She moves not
just faster but
better when

she doesn’t know
the time. Forecasts
or predictions or
guesses or could be

wishes. A continuum
that ties her
to a fence

just like the wooden
plank one
those boys affixed
her to when

she was three. She couldn’t
tell time
then—was she free?

26th & Lyndale Again

Dreams that open
vaults might release
phantom lovers
with guitars. Live
music gets played
in a bar
meant for only
one thing—living
to drink. And
she doesn’t
anymore—drink
that is. Rumor
of a nickname
for her
she doesn’t
recognize. VIP
status gets a seat
on a fireplace
hearth. Who
can remember
how their bodies
came to collide
in five
easy moves.
Was it
like this? Probably
not, but a fire
burning on a cold
November night
could dissolve
the need to know.

Monday Mornings in August

Hurt my eyes, my bones,
those muscles with memory
make themselves
known. To wake

to news
of a dimness
that has descended
from a light that has been extinguished

permanently—what is left
to fear? He cannot die
all over again,
can he? But the pain

is real. Spasms stun
me into beginning
those stages of awareness,
grief again, out of order.

10 Months

Another 27th day hits
the way heat slaps

my face when I leave
an air-conditioned

shell. He would have walked
in it—no matter

what. I mention an MIT cap
and ring to a young architect

who knows
the Institute well. He says

as much as it changes
it remains the same. My father

faced change,
loved the same.

Eight Months

While dreaming,
our number
transforms into
a symbol
that gives
permission to go
on forever. One
sprawling figure

eight

through the seasons. But
it turns out
8 is not ∞
You have stopped
counting as I build momentum.
Grief can’t be quantified.
I must resort
to art as I carry you

with me on and off
the trace.