Another Version of Three Loves

I steal. It’s my nature. No license.
So I will count three loves
although there have been

so many more.

Lover #1 had no licenses. Didn’t need
one to play guitar. He jumped
off a stage to kiss me. But there were

so many more.

Lover #2 was made of glass
and tall and straight
and bottomless, which was
the little problem that became
my big problem along with

so many more.

Lover #3 is a secret
especially to me. I’m told
to pray and he will come. But
I only half believe. I worship
the moon, and she has no time
for such nonsense.

So no more.

Lead Sinker Brain Brats

To float is not
always the goal.
Some air bubbles
burst for no reason.
On those nights, I let go
of my need to follow the moon.


I still live
in a coin operated
world. These social networking
tricks do not align

with how I shrink
from true human
contact when the moon begins
to count. If he kept the letters

I wrote, where would they be
now? Hearts bought

at estate sales
are non-refundable.

Evening Skin

“Onstage the Scottish musicians begin to break the skin of the evening and the music fills the room—mandolin, guitar, fiddle.”
—Colum McCann, from Zoli

It doesn’t matter if it’s shattered
diamonds or glass she sees winking
in fresh snow to carry her home
after dark. This splinter

pain touches her left foot
where the big toe attaches itself
to the sole. Nothing there
but a nagging to remind her

she is no exception. Mortal—
with a limited number of steps, breaths—
she’ll strive to keep them
in unison as long as a splinter
moon allows.

Nine Eighteen

Don’t draw a line through
this day yet—late
afternoon and still sleeves
are optional, blinding light
from the sun’s reflection
on a fender, her footsteps
reflect nothing but promise
of a moon sighting tonight.


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

Auratic Splice

Found footage, a blue filter
to distinguish night
from its counterpoint.
That these black-and-
white flicker cycles
could be finite, she’s beginning 

to see how
the distinction will snap
away, all filters exposed
without purpose, no farewell
or final letter to the moon
and everything it contains. A private explosion 

without a witness, her evening
will come.

Question of Property

“I almost called these poems
Pickpocket Blues
because they are the repetition
                              by memory
                      of earlier poems
                        stolen from me
b y    t w e l v e    t h i e v e s.”
—Jack Kerouac, from the 2nd Chorus of “Orizaba 210 Blues” (Book of Blues

She doubts her bones
will be put on display.  Sees 

how she is blessed.  To be a thief
in this time is what’s left. If he channels you 

to music, how will she tune in, listen,
take away what she can 

to call her own? If possession
is nine tenths, she has her doubts 

about the other tenth—does believe
it has something to do with the shape 

of the moon and whether she bothers
to look for it each night. Did she steal 

that one too?

Off Season

Hollow women seek distractions
in you. Numbed
into summer is no way 

to look at the moon
each night. That hill won’t hold
all these heavy

limbs and lids. I’ll be the one
to rebel—I don’t want

to be distracted.  Let me suck
sustenance from soma goblets
before another civil dawn.

Day 197

I need you tonight,
moon, am collapsing in
the curve of you.  I found 

a wrench in the street this morning.
I need you tonight,
throwing tools 

(I am afraid to use)
before me, am reaching to cradle
my own knees— 

bruised by misjudgment.
These arms, these fingers are too
stiff. Right tighter, left 

looser, bolts land
arranged in a pattern. I found
it could help 

reckon through clouds,
stars aligning behind.