Electrocution

To blame a rodent
for this disruption, this return
to the primitive,

is what I do
when singed mystery
holds no appeal. What about a snake

or hawk? Could be human
error—and into its portal

the soul just might come into view.
If only I didn’t blink it away.

Tinderbox

Kerouac sees punks
in his 20th chorus—
all those who would fit
on a page of a breast 

pocket notebook. Leftover
ones dancing on the head
of a pin, I’ll get over this

disdain. I’ll listen again
when amphitheaters begin
to accommodate sleeping 

drunks. I was one
when the longing for nothing
I knew singed the soles 

of my feet. The pain made me
sleepy. Howl that one
at a guitar pick
moon—I dare you.

Wellington Place

After all these years, all
you have said, you’re still
afraid 

of him. He has only a few
words left. They won’t hurt. Rarely did.
It was the ones 

he threw at those around you.
To be so privileged
can be a burden. In his weakened 

state, new hip just beginning to settle
into the mechanism that is
what’s left 

of his life, why
this fear? Yes,
you’re losing him 

the way we all lose
one another. There are no guarantees,
no ultimate reprieves. This is a slow burn 

singe around your original
edges. No way comes without terror.
Whose? Yours? His? 

All of those others?
With the spoken
language disintegrated, 

what’s left is this raw
love. You must look it
in the eye. Don’t turn 

your head off his
steady gaze. Remember,
who he is.