On the Remake

“Then nothing will remain of the iron age
And all these people but a thigh-bone or so, a poem
Stuck in the world’s thought, splinters of glass
In the rubbish dumps, a concrete dam far off in the mountain . . .”
—Robinson Jeffers, from “Summer Holiday” 

I can find the trash
chute without falling
under its spell.  Won’t be abducted 

by shattered glass thoughts
desperate to become sand
again. I will recycle myself.  Will 

find another man
to feed me—am seeking
fresh vegetables, grilled fish, and laughter 

sweet as peaches
we’ll dare to eat.


Do I dare—I do not—
to buy a snuff
bottle. Hand-painted,
it comes in a small gold thread
embroidered box
with a latch. If a peach 

adorned its glass shell, would I
then? Afraid to ask

questions, I let wondering build
a safety berm
around my modern moat.
What swims through
my muck and murdered
words would not bear 

any rings. They’re everywhere—
on fingers, hanging 

from ears, wrapped around
planets, even this curved channel
I’ve dug to keep nobody
out. I don’t burn
rose oil, it’s the water
I want to sniff. 

It’s this desire
I need to contain.