Poetry

Afternoon Sun at the End of Summer

 

The children wade naked and thigh-deep

in stone-colored water. They duck under

and come up flinging drops from their hair.

Wind raises gooseflesh on their arms.

Touch is the miracle, wrote Whitman.

Touch is the earth’s language and the children

speak it. . . .

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The Book of the Dead Man (Dylan’s Names)

Live as if you were already dead.
                           —Zen admonition

All I can do is be me, whoever that is.
                           —Bob Dylan

 

 1. About the Dead Man and Dylan’s Names

  . . .

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Love in the Time of PrEP

 

To see more clearly,

             we climbed the shifting sands

                             of the volcano. We read

in the guidebook that we might

             be haunted if the mist & the light

 

were just right. Sure enough, . . .

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Epithalamion

 

When I was a girl in Wisconsin, I dreamed I ’d marry

a man from Michigan. Then I did. When I was a man

from Michigan, I dreamed I ’d marry a begonia,

flowers choked with pollen. When I was a flower

from Michigan, . . .

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Invisible Star Maps

For my stepdaughter Kari Harvey (23 December 1982–10 May 2016)

We know that we have passed out of death into life.

—1 John 3:14

Wherever we go we leave a thumbprint of the soul.

Ghosts of words we never said fill the rooms we leave. . . .

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The Failure of My Music

I was cleaning the garage and then

the garage was clean. The voice

from the radio sounded shocked

by another mass shooting

but went on about the government

officials and their take on the violence,

which had nothing to do with pain

but was instead about elections. . . .

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In Praise of My Manicure

Because I was taught all my life to blend in, I want

my fingernails to blend out: like preschoolers

 

who stomp their rain boots in a parking lot, like coins

who wink at you from the scatter-bottom of a fountain, . . .

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