No More Hints

Strong evidence
of tobacco use on the corner
outside the library. I should

know. Have checked out
for five all but one
year of my life

in this town. A red
Q on this book
cover is no longer

a question. Quality days
begin to stack up
against an invisible wall. Collections

have their place. I don’t
miss the smoke.


These immobilization fees
don’t cover what she does
with her left wrist. Flicks serifs

off letters the way she used to release
ashes from her smokes, the way
I might dismiss her

without understanding what she might be
building in that empty lot. April snow lasts
only so long—then she’ll write this off too.

And He Said Renewal Only Happens Within

“Throw the calendar away—gonna find a jukebox of steel.”
—Jay Farrar, “Jukebox of Steel”

Don’t ask me to set a date,
to plan my release
from this worn Sisyphean trail—
uphill with no benefits. I only know
how to drop

put my flame
to other things. By sudden impulse,
I hear a message transmitted
where I thought

communication was shot. God
wears new clothes.