seven plagues were worn in the hatbands of devils.
In the fortune cookie of the palsied calendar,
these were read--
fear, death, murder, disease, hate, horror and waste.
In summer, I planted a window box;
in autumn, a stripe of leaves on the sill,
and in winter, the pretty almost-weightless tail of a sleeping beast.
In our bed that November, you left me your bones
and gave your body to the noisy starlings.
Each evening, I wait for them in the dusk--
they assemble and there you are, whole again;
watching me cry over impossible things.
In the widow year of the bootleg bible,
a man selling loosies was killed right there on the public sidewalk.
His killers couldn't see him, and so they felt for him with their hands.
He said he couldn't breathe, but they wouldn't spare him any air,
because he was not a bird, and they were not the wind.
My love, survivor of the funeral year,
I bought you an angel carved from wax,
a pretty thing from a funky little shop before they lost their lease.
I will place her carefully between your ribs
to help you re-make yourself when you return.
Until then, I have my crystals, a Magic 8 Ball, and my Catholic faith,
a mighty fortress against the vagaries of life in your absence.