Saturday, June 28, 2008


In my garden, I touch the blooms in the rain,
There are always as many drops as I have fingers--
I hold the storm's dreams
Fallen like petals
Right into my astonished hands.

Monday, June 23, 2008

My Garden

My garden

Is where the earth is like a fist--

Good luck, honey,

Getting anything from this.

My garden

Is where the rain falls down and breaks--

Shards spread out like swans

On glittering shattered lakes.

Come around my garden

Come around the wall

Come around in darkness

Come around at all.

My garden

Is full of flowers black and grey--

They grow best in rainy midnights,

They only die by day.

My garden

Is made of root and rock and bone--

Growing backwards in negation

And even scent is made of stone.

Come around my garden

Come around the wall

Come around in darkness

Come around at all.


Sunday, June 22, 2008

Cestrum Nocturnum

The bricks around the garden hold the day's heat.

I am shaved and oiled,



You are the leopard moth,

Moon-dappled black and white;

For you I open,

Bloom at night.


Tuesday, June 17, 2008

For Evelyn

The blade and the apple

Were that summer's favorite lovers--

The blade, so charming and sharp,

The apple ripe and ready;

One wet, the other grey

Just like the electric sky.

"Come inside me, " said the apple--

And, in a single motion,

The blade sliced through her

Without a second thought.

For a short time, they lay together,

Their two bodies one--

But in the end,

The blade kept only a few moist drops of her

And, unchanged at its heart,

Will do this many times again.

But the apple

Can never more be whole,

She'll not shine red and perfect

As she did in breathless moments before the storm.


A Season In Eight Lines

She touched you,

And you became a wind chime--

And even if

There never was a next time,

She touched you

Like the springtime touches trees,

Sending blossoms to the breeze--

Tones of music and of color left behind.


Saturday, June 14, 2008


When I found my voice, it wasn't mine

But, oh,

How I wanted it to be.

When she ran her tongue along my spine

I changed

And shone in colors brilliantly.

More than light, I crave for her sure fingers on my breasts,

Her lips upon my throat create an instrument of flesh.

When I found my voice, it wasn't mine

But oh,

How I wanted it to be.

My love drew out each bar and line

Then smiled,

And kissed them back to me.


Friday, June 13, 2008

Queen Beautiful

How can you look like that

In the morning

In a hoodie

With a bagel in your hand?

How can the curls at the side of your face

Transfix me as they do?

You are as simple

As a cup of coffee,

And as marvelous.

Good morning,

All hail!

Queen Beautiful.


Tuesday, June 10, 2008

At The Gates Of St. Dymphna's

What is this air

And what vagary

Keeps your voice from reaching my ear?

What are these hands

Which cannot carry

My love from heart to skin, my dear?

What is this sun

Lobbed across the sky

Indifferent to crow and linnet?

What is this day

Gone greyly by

Hushed and mad without you in it?


photograph by Jeremy Barnard

Monday, June 9, 2008

Woman In Uniform

Question me.

Detain me.

Secure me.

Search me.

Fly me.

Slay me.

Revive me.

And through it all, let there be the sound of creaking leather.

Mercy, me.

Saturday, June 7, 2008


A woman is fixing popcorn

When, unexpectedly,

She explodes

From all she had kept within.

Suddenly bulbous, unwieldy,

Yet oddly free,

She crashes through her house, disturbing everything.

"You're not the same person I fell for in high school," complains the husband.

"And you are," complains the wife.

She pours herself into the outside world

As if it were a big, pretty bowl.

She starts the Popcorn Institute

Where large women

Do large things


"Look at her," snipe some of her unpopped sisters,

"A size 16 if she's anything."

But they are small, dark, unappealing,

Like mouse droppings.

She is warm,


Desired by all.


Thursday, June 5, 2008


She was already dead, you see.

She did it just to get away

From the heavyness of men in their certainty

And the brittle, tight smiles of efficient women.

She could mine as much love from a wall or a rock,

So she lay down in the gentle earth

And whispered to the roots of violets in the moonlight.

But sometimes,

When young girls come to smoke behind the headstones,

She will open up her bones and release

The Big and Little Dippers,



And all the rest--

To take a turn as if it were some ballerina's birthday.

The young girls are the only ones who see it;

They squint and smile and say,

Fuckin' right

And flick their butts across the lawn

Like little




Kimberly Jane Goes To Pieces

Kimberly Jane goes to pieces

Like a dropped crystal bowl--

Very nice,

Miss Butterfingers.

But after the shock of the initial crash,



Enough for everybody.

She says,

"One for you,

Two for me--"

She may not be whole

But she is free;

To the needy many, her many faces--

Kimberly Jane

Gone to pieces.

photograph by Jeremy Barnard

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Cat Desire

There is a


Low note

In her voice.

At night

When she has gone,

I fall into

Feline dreams.

On the sill

In the morning,

Cream-clouds tease

A clever-clawed



Sunday, June 1, 2008

Starlight And Lavender

Remember when she spoke your name

As if it were an apple blossom?

As if you weren't flesh and bone

But starlight and lavender?

Remember her tongue on your skin

As if your flesh were snowflakes;

As if you wouldn't melt a little

Every time you think of her.

Dark blue

Is the color of midnight ice,

Bottomless black

Are the branches in the orchard.

And if you think of her in shorter days

And if you find you miss her,

Remember apple blossom days

But don't forget the winter.