dowry

my mother left me four flat rooms three washloads two fivefoot boys one tenfoot man when she went under she took her breasts her rippled hair she left me bonestuck bare they say i have my mother’s mouth they say i have her eyes  . . .

Lunch at l’auberge

He arrives in murmuring blue tie puffed like a poised rattler He has brought a ruby flower scent of languorous hours “Have you never been to France?” His face is sluggish but his fingers fly He finds a dear spot behind her ear “Tell me . . .

Edward

sand_image_large

Edward laughs like a loon. He sits splay-legged on the beach on a perfect summer day with the sun high and hot and the sea a shimmer of slate-blue. Beside him his best friend Harry wears a smile as broad as the slick of sand they sit upon . . .

So Roses

O’ come and play dear Golden girl; Elixir as sweet as a mixture of honey And fix me a treat that keeps you so sunny, To trick mine eyes too to shine as a pearl. A sip and my trip is straight into the whirl, And smooth it is so for you are so runny . . .

The Eagle’s Headdress

headdress

From that day that J’uanchok gave me his Eagle’s Headdress to wear on the fullest moons, I haven’t missed a date. Faithfully, under his sentinel glare, I don this white feathered mask like a new skull and marry its spirit— spreading my wings, learning its precision, soaring hawk-like through moonlit forests and over sandy beaches; bumbling bitterly by, my fellow peers mumble their disapproval: “What nonsense!” they snicker . . .

Senior Discount

man-open-shirt

The crowd is as thick as the smoke in the air. His steps are calculated, keeping his distance from the young bodies that dance around him. Hands float through the air, reaching for anything but he returns to the wall, to wait until he is brave enough . . .

Schaghticoke

car-accident

I never got a good photo of him. Over two months, I got only body parts dismembered from each other. Even though they were behind unstained glass, the listless traffic cops filtered all the life out of even a torso wrapped in a plaid shirt . . .