The neighborhood alphas leave engines running as hands soap car windows with specialized sponges. I try watching but the plot is deadbeat daddy, common weekend refrain. Patches of armpit sweat vary by fabric but football logos every pocket. Silence is a scrimmage I invent back plots yet action runs circle to circle. Huddles over tires. We are oval at best, baby blue eggs lining Easter baskets. Kids shuck corn from cobs and leave the silk on the lawn for nests. A mom wonders what happened to muses. A man resurrects a muscle. A toddler wanders away.
Love Poem Disguised as Felted Acorn
I love you direct as a sniper's studied rooftop bullet there is a sense of conspiracy involved. For why go to the trouble of securing a secret location near the birds, setting up one single shot? There's nothing noble about denouement. So I love you like Traci Brimhall loves sperm whales loving squid in a circular motion there is no form of love I can't make room to include in the business of keeping love fed, love nourished, love groomed, love nurtured, love sleeping on the roof-top of a Birmingham high-rise when we couldn't resist. That night when it was over and yet hunger for stars sent us out; we snuck into a sleeping bag naked just to feel once more what had ended. Savor the finale. Two children later, the loss of a mother carved into my face I still love you like certain murder, and love you like a cathedral adores its pieta. Even a cold stone church needs a woman warming the hearth with her tears.
Foreign Bodies at Bellevue, 3:45 am
Fourteen beds hold luggage; coiled bodies of pain packed tight. I need a gauge, a measured notch your head falling, parched tulip whose strain is not foreign. Both of us raised to watch Mr. Rogers, to know manners, trusting nothing in Their language. White immigrant, black native, Birmingham wears us into rusting metal, tender scrap-heap, broken choir chant. Dearest poet, fellow germophobe, this is not even a poem. Not two strong voices needing their mamas. A man moans, his hiss staggered. I plead for clean blankets, choices. Amid their slurred jargon, blurry of terms, I unhatch sobs-- and guard your bed from germs.
Concerning the Life Outside My Head
There's life outside your head you say--and you aren't the first to say it three hundred times. Meaning ten multiplied by thirty in the same crisp tone clatter of ice cubes adding emphasis. A centipede scoots its way across the wicker chair you say please sit. Say please ignore it. I try everything once, but there's life outside my head I can't entirely crush. Your hesitating grin, my hips gearing your lap, the hollowed between us is hallowed harrow. I spy the wren's solid beak, the earthworm squirming, how life swallows life in one single wing's span.