Portable Mansions

Your mother awake in the kitchen before we’ve slept, tipping a coffee mug forward—through her small frame to a window of horses & hay. She doesn’t mention the bruising, our discretion unfurled along the highway. I’ll notice it later, after losing the scarf I bought to impress you somewhere under the bed. I’ll wake up…

A Sentence on Some Movements of Flower Petals

I was wondering about the ozone layer and how no one mentions its depletion anymore when the sun came out from behind a cloud and I noticed a petal from a cherry blossom from the tree next door (where Diane used to live) floating past my window rolling like a paddlewheel and then also, at…

In Memory

Today I gathered your bones and what was left. I am almost glad you both went at once. I hear sisterhood is strong even in death. Into the quick dug pit you go. It is hardly deep enough for winter. But it is August and if I am honest there cannot be much of anything…

Moon, I Already Know

The eye as a gate to sublimity, rain begets rain as the subject— it has since become funny to apologize for anything at all. Who are you? Who are you? Begging for walk into emblem, gnashing teeth, leaves fading into green only to become compostable again, eventually. Little rose-colored pennants of the season; futurity presents…

Field of Bullets, Medicine Bow

Forty five dollars of regular unleaded. My gas tank is a graveyard on fire. Most every species that once drew breath is fossil now, or oil. If I’m to die in this latest Apocalypse, what would my body ignite? Whose escape could I fuel? Wyoming, too, is an unmarked grave and the wind shears off…

As If Light Could Ever Be the Answer (amber snail to the green-banded broodsac)

The green-banded broodsac is a behavior-altering flatworm that causes the snail to seek the light it usually avoids. The flatworm occupies the snail’s eye stalk and pulsates, mimicking the appearance of a caterpillar, so a nearby bird—the definitive host—might be tricked into eating the parasite. You prod me, shrinking, into the light. My tender eye…

Add Phthalo Blue

To the lean trees, leafless, the sky awash in spirits, to rain-streaked, grayed-out wetlands. To aging winter’s illness—a cold-boned birch once silvered     by the moon. Phthalo blue—bright, crystalline—stumbled upon by a chemist troubled by contamination. Its light-fastness, tinting strength, its resemblance     to the blue powder childhood. Judith Skillman’s most recent book…

Neptune

There is a planet on his shoulders.  Are his shoes right?   Is his taste in movies cultured enough?     His jealously comes in rings. Dear Neptune, no one taught him how to kiss. No body-celestial was bold enough to enter his orbit. Poor blue, he’s never had a moon no satellite, no plaid clad asteroid bent…

Camille

after Camille by Edyta Salak She never felt like her name fit her, he felt the same. She lets her son dress up in leftover pastels, does not scorn him when he twirls in a dress only laughs and notes the skirt’s shape as it swirls. An opening flower, the pink of a cheek, her…

Grips Are Fleeting Things

1 You are sour. We sit soaking in the school fire sprinklers listening to the music playing in our heads. We almost fuck. But you leave and I spend the rest of my life wondering. 2 Your hair is black like oxidized, polished iron. Blades curved deadly across crown. Brave fingers pull it back in…

Los Carneros Rd

My friend knew a cloistered group in Berkeley who made acid. We drive 3 more people up to the Bay to get to another show another couch all huddled in the back of my Corvair, Poi Dog Pondering on the tapedeck. We spend what is left of night in People’s Park, wake up, get in…