Scars

She’s ready to declare:
I believe

in ghosts. She’s ready
to admit:
I believe in ghosts

so I might encounter you
in the hallway of that haunted
old school building.

If everything could be repurposed,
she’d like to be slate
under your chalk next.

mis-taken

She mourns the hyphens
that have rubbed off, worn away, merged
into their attachments. Language

breathes and breaks
in two—always to be healed
later. Scars visible

but not mentioned. Syllabic
grafts in time, she gives herself
permission to talk

in her sleep—to herself,
to you. And you could reply
if you believe it’s right.

Fear Is a Four Letter Word—And So What

Someone drove a Nash
rambler into my heart.
See these burn scars. I’m knitting them 

into poems fast
as I can. Fear is
a cross-stitch I’m 

still learning how to work
into a pattern. Perfection
is for the gods.

Washington Avenue South

Before the street made sense, became a boulevard
with flower beds and urban strength
trees, she entered 

the roadhouse to seep
into wood. To be
the end. It is 

gone. She is
not. Up the long block—a lengthening
stretch of cars, do not 

honk, go fast, poets cling
to their voices under beams
compressing breath and scars.