Poem 18: National Poetry Month

What is Truth?

Every morning I wake up
in this same low haze
that in its blue says—

    not in so many words—

I won’t be able to go out
today, there won’t be any words
for that.

         I am so resistant to love.

But look!—how grass slips
cool blades between my toes
and dirt is filmy on my fingers.
And hear!—how I have told you

                             these things.

Poem 17, at least: National Poetry Month

Besides this Poem: A Mid-April Apology

I am sorry.
There are others.
I am quiet.
I hold them.

Poem 15 or 16: National Poetry Month

Where is it to believe again
that words will come? Are they
in the egg-shaped hollow
of my gravitational body—
in the no-place
that exists between fatty rounds,
between bones and chalky
marrow, sticky flesh?
What magic had them here before—
was it the combination of the air
drunk by my cheeks, or soil
tucked under my fingernails? What
secret pact had them
set loose into my atmosphere?

Will I ever ask anything
but questions? When will
I ask this declaration?
When will I ask a prayer?
All I am is wondering—

The phrase “egg-shaped hollow” is borrowed from “We Take the Sky,” a poem by Susanna Childress, included in her poetry book Jagged with Love.

Poem 15ish: National Poetry Month

A Fanatic Mercy Grows
I excuse the sidling mud dauber—
I do not wish to fraternize—
but not without a glance
aside, as if I soon may hear
some heckle for my prop of him
upon my paper—
to spill him out alive.

Poem 14 or so: National Poetry Month


There. She’d used it—that word she didn’t
know but that it had some connotation—
animal rabidity or raw sexual delight, a
natural obsession, perhaps—with poets
of greater ilk who had plumbed morbid
depths, had let soil or blood blacken their
hands until pages or keyboards were plumb
smeared with it. If that’s what it took, well,
then—she too could use that word in
forensic proof of standing in sludgy excre-
scence. It tasted rakish on her tongue,
curled off in mundane air, but ears refused
the groveling. They did not seem to care.

Poem 13 (minus 1): National Poetry Month


I will wait a moment to breathe
in turmeric and ginger, milk and
coffee. I would sleep forever in your arms
as if I were home, but I may never
wake again. Prattling transit ride, rattled
people will subside as I but rest
in pause. Trees will grow
from chimney-tops and wind-raked sidewalk

will hold my hand.

Poem 11: National Poetry Month

If We Be [Mostly] Water

It occurred to me
how so few strokes

    that is,
    how present—
    we are

to our fallout—

    how the knifed word
    or palpable arms

draw out water
if only a spot.


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