Some Thing in the Bed

There is a long window that doesn’t open
overlooking the parking lot. In its
recess, a black leggy thing, weightless
and still, lays on its side. It is
to fly as the thing in the bed is to
my mother — holding only the shape
and none of the spontaneity. She too is
weightless, buoyant in the heavy air,
adrift in familiar halls — fourteen
disbelieving eyes stare at a shucked husk.

Blind Man Sleeping at The Great Machipongo Clam Shack

What do you dream about, blind man? Voices
coming from below the ground, long canes,
longer than the world is deep?

Do you imagine you have experienced sight,
a great salty yawn spilling cracked oysters,
each unique odorous texture a vision?

I wish you would wake and tell me your dreams,
in words sufficient enough to remove my vision,
forever in the way of what you see.

Thank God for the Rain

Four years old — allowed
to wander the length of the dock
to the end, where I was,
a stranger in blue
looking across the water
waiting for something—a twinge
against the tightness of green
braided line extending in-
to the slippery heavy.
I saw him before, the day he fell
hard on the planks, tripped on his own
dog. He sat down beside me
until he heard his mother
from the shore, hollering,
“come now, Joshua, now before the rain
catches you.” He stood, too close,
the way kids do sometimes, asking,
“You remember the day I fell
right here?” pointing
the smallness of his fingers
to a scar leftover on his chin.
“My dad left that day. He said
he’ll be back in three days.
How long is three days?
Nobody will tell me.”

 

 

 

Stones

Annie Lebawits shot him,
Jagger shirtless—elevated
from man to Rolling Stone.
If he were any other man
we’d say he looks skeletal
today, but he’s still going,
doing it, with his lips
pressed out, Tumbling Dice.
He is as Annie showed us,
frozen in time, shirtless
forever singing Wild Horses.

Tanka

Thirst lifted her feet

across the man-made border

breaking the saddle

north toward Los Angeles

under the same starry sky

Dinner at Seven

Rainwater is collected
in golden bowls,
each a mirror reflecting the bad
haircuts worn by monks.
They are chanters
never worrying about the next meal.
Tell us how to pray
for bread to feed our trusting children,
you who chant
with the assurance that the gong chimes
dinner at seven.