He is Afraid of Dying

He Is Afraid of Dying

It is more what he does not say.
Perhaps you know him too well.
Perhaps you wish

you knew him in ways
you may never know him.
In the meantime,

serve him cherries you pitted
last July, frozen and dark,
their juice a torch song for summer.

Offer him slender volumes of poems,
write invisible notes in the margins
about the sound the moon makes

when it rises in you. Offer him
your moon, your hands, your years
that wait ahead like unpoured cups of tea.

We do not know. We do not know
and what we do not know
curls up beside us and kisses the words

that try to perch on our lips
before it blows them away.
Do we ever know what to say

to each other? Now. Heat the water.
Take down the cups.
Serve him the tiny silver-edged leaves.


135–Nothing to Carry

do i want to let this ecstasy take me?                                                                                                                                                                                                             oh yes, but it freaks out the conservative                                                                                                                                                                                                old woman who also lives here she has                                                                                                                                                                                                         a lot of pull too her place secured by                                                                                                                                                                                                          what she thinks she knows                                                                                                                                                                                                                             let’s change the furniture i say or                                                                                                                                                                                                           better yet throw it all away                                                                                                                                                                                                                             oh posh she says this old stuff                                                                                                                                                                                                                          cost good money and i like                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  to sit on this stinking cushion                                                                                                                                                                                                                              i look at her wrinkles and feel                                                                                                                                                                                                                    sorry for her let her keep her old stuff                                                                                                                                                                                                             but part of me likes a pillow on the floor                                                                                                                                                                                                        and the freedom of having nothing to carry.

February in Apple Valley, Minnesota

Winter is a time for death.
do you think death is a bad thing?

For too long I have not walked
in the clear cool air, have not felt
the burn of the lungs as they breathe
in the terrible oxygen. Clumsy mutiny
of toes in the boots. White stiffening
of pinkies, reluctant thumbs. For too long
I have forgotten how this, too,
is heaven, this bleakness of branch
and stubborn rimming of snow that rhymes
every surface with white. Bless
this beauty that brings with it ache
and the opening in which we know
at last that we cannot do it alone.
I don’t want to escape to a more comfortable place.
More and more I just want
to be more human.

134–Boogaloo Lover

sometimes while i am looking at

some other mirror i discover

some quirky self i have become–you make

me laugh i say with your

fears and hypercondriac ways

and i kiss your lips in my mirror

taking a moment to feast at

your banquet table you entice

me to that obsurd dance you

do when you can’t contain yourself

what a boogaloo lover you turned out to be