Knees

I’ve no such use for new knees,those new titanium knees.They weren’t there, in the garden,planting our first seeds, gravel pockedand stinging. They weren’t thereto scrub stains from the floorboards.They never lowered me gently into grief. Those are not the knees of a boyon a beach, new to sand, water,and the hard wash of tide –not […]

The Maple

The maple is taller than yesterday,peppered with birds and orange bloom – aloofbelow an unscarred blue. But that is the maple, those are the birds,and that is the sky. And though I cannot unseeunfettered Spring, I cannot unseesuspicion, the revulsion of hands,breath and similar heatsthat strain against our leaning. I cannot unknow the slow drawn […]

Rain

Is this how stone hears rain?What an odd question to pose.But there it is: Is thisHow stoneHears rain? For now, today,this moment,this hour,this house.this body,this grain, Sits, As raindrapes over the eavesand runs hollowon stucco. And in this place,at the center of all things,where each stone is a stoneunyielding, Rain is rain,rock is rock,and one […]

The Bath

So buoyant, the bath, the salts,the uncreaked bones, the knoband socket, like that blasé afternoonwith its shallow sun and lotions,with its plinkos and tokens –that cool and wayward drifton a raft, chest to the sky,when the chatter fell,when the tide rolled in,and heaved me upon the sharp edge of the beach,and left me there, thrown […]

Once the Pagans of Patapsco Wood

We laid snake bone by the rootsof the four trees fused at the waist. We dug tourmaline in the creekbed,dry that time of year and every yearbetween honeysuckle loam and wood rot. We sniffed skunk weed from the pitwhere the freakshow gathered and blazedup a bonfire tacked of pith and reeds,quick lit and soon extinguished. […]

The Sick Child

You didn’t see it –But your mother bowed her headAnd wept when you left, The way she whitened her knucklesslim clasped when fever took youdown into cold rattled sweats, The way she tamped your foreheadwith the one soft rag left in the cupboard,brought water to your lips. You didn’t see it –the way she held […]

Dear Father – a prayer

Dear Father,May I ask that I come not to the anvilas a hammer, but as steel,red from the furnace, young to the sledge. It is not for meto strike a peen and shapea hinge or shear a blade,the greater share of spark dismayed. Rather, let me bendbeneath the blows that turn me,let me curl about […]