I told my brother that the BB I was going to fire
at him, from our second story window, wouldn’t hurt,
that his layers would protect him from the sting.
And I imagine him, now, walking into drizzle,
a desperate wonder wrapped around him
Continue reading… "Latch Key for Boys"
Let’s begin with her feet. Ten proper toes
pressed into pink ink then pressed again on one
side of a small card—two tender rhodies
determined to root in the heavy dark of a Port Orford winter.
The first question I ask the nurse is not is it a boy
Continue reading… "Birth Announcement"
Continue reading… "Your Eyes Are Not a Camera Drone"
and white-winged dove pollinate by day
swarm the blooms each night
The blossoms become ripe red fruit for the desert
On the couch you slumped over
into my shoulder, your lips parted.
When you slumped over the couch
Continue reading… "What Your Sleep Tastes Like"
& dropped your half-eaten scone,
your parted lips dripped crumbs into my shoulder.
Sons are not often carved
Continue reading… "Mother Milk"
in the cashmere shape of tenderness,
but still, he reaches out his arms
at least once a day—-
a long hug, sometimes longer,
as though he is quenching a thirst
for swallows of milk
A single naked light bulb, a single line
Continue reading… "Rural Electrification"
stretched across winter fields, brought the new century
to my grandmother’s house. For a hundred years,
fire light, oil light and candlelight
dimly lit a two-room farmhouse.
The cat peeks behind the lace curtain
to get a clearer look through the glass.
For all he knows, he lives in Plato’s Cave,
and here’s an exit. But surely his life
is real: the tin foil balls, the catnip toy,
the scratching post—all the hideouts
he has found safe haven in. Surely,
they are real. And yet there, beyond the glass,
a breeze stirs, colors sparkle in the sun,
sounds rebound. A different world obtains.
In the summer, the glass becomes a screen,
and then smells are added to the tableau
spread before him. Such mysterious scents!
Now there’s even a dark creature flying
across the sky, making a raucous noise.
The cat may never go outside to test
Continue reading… "Cat at the Window"
his thesis. What would he make of it all?
Could he have lived a real life there?
He tries to see what he has sacrificed
to let a human being love him here.
There is no sleep, just deep exhaustion.
Continue reading… "Abundance"
And as I probe the mists of life I am surprised
by finding unexpected riches.
Like Pharaoh, I have been well endowed
with all the preciousness I need
for an eternal death time and beyond.
So far north here, sometimes
Continue reading… "From the 49th Parallel…Bellingham, Washington"
it feels like we’re teetering
on the very edge of the Earth
and into the region the ancient maps
called Terra Incognita.
The deputy in slacks and knee-high boots heaves
Continue reading… "What Lingers: January in Elmwood Jail"
a weighty door—neglect, injury, violence.
They’ve come to lead a prayer service, she tells forty
females wearing thin orange uniforms. They
scatter round a large, cool room—walls empty
of all color. A resident standing in her four-bed section,