Pacific Saudade

This Noguchi sculpture encased
in glass on the departures level inside the San Francisco Airport soothes

my incurable longing
for what those Big Sur rocks would not release. That he could have been

my soul mate doesn’t matter—he’s been gone
since I was a young woman. That this other creator

of darkest beauty could be is
a lie I tell myself

to keep my feet from straying
off the cliff side path. I believe in

an art that mates soul to soul for a moment. And that is enough
to fly home on.

Letter in a Mirror

“Tainted Love” won’t hit you
the way it did in 1982 when you came late
to Studio 54. Always arriving early, 

you miss being
the impact.  Pregnant
new wave singers, punk 

ones already overdosed, your phobia
keeps you clean. You are one
of the dirt eaters.  We can tell 

by the lines on your finger
nails, by the look you give
trees. Your envy is not pretty— 

it’s what you wear
when nothing else seems to fit. The seam
is endless 

around your assumptions.
Your shoe size is not
what you or I think. You would be taller 

if you could give up
the memory of those songs—
the ones that didn’t deliver 

the truth, it turns out. And it is
this—Noguchi is dead. Your soul mate
isn’t yet born. Take a deep breath, 

my dear woman, move on.

Letter to Another World

Emily Dickinson’s soul mate rides
a bicycle down my street. I can tell
it’s him by the way he compresses
his shoulders between parked
and moving cars. Handsome and nimble,
Emily, constant and quick.