Resistance

Now you are a wind across the hairline balance of my scale. I tare again; still you draft past me. The third decimal place shudders under your weight. I would never tolerate uncertainty, the plus or minus like apology, a fraying at the edge of measurement. I used to want your signal off my radar….

Fate Machine

The conductor of a certain bandwidth waves you down a passage of transits. Its gates stand open and resolute; it commands the fate of all the passing phantoms and, of course, you. You’re taken into a wide place where tickets are sold, schedules eyed and traced to cirrus patterns overhead. An algorithm emerges. It gathers…

Aura Light

I fell into an unbidden sleep in my chair, winter’s late afternoon light through the north-facing window dim as underworld glow. I woke soon, wondering whose life this was, and saw, in the open palm on my lap, this world’s aura, its soft star-water bathing familiar skin. So I saw who I’d been, whose hand…

Forecast

Crazy weather. Look out over the bay after the daylong storm that should have cleared the air but didn’t. The haze so dense if I was not seated, solid in this chair, I could believe the way upward and the way downward are the same. Perhaps I believe that anyway. I write here in lantern…

Thirty-Six Lines in Defense of Clutter

I was a newlywed with a mother- in-law whose house was spotless and white-gloved where carpet remnants brightened her garage, so in my house I tried for that mirage dutifully with faith for a year or three until life retrained me, and I made peace with clutter, stuff in boxes, closed with tape, my house…

Rain

Tiny dogs are running backward on leaves This is the first song and the last song the song of the earth before spirits learned to form words and name the stars before the cycle of living and dying before men disappeared in the forest and returned as salmon This is the song of the horizon…

Costco-Sized Yoshida’s®

Stalwart 64-oz soldier immortal behind the milk you were made for rice and long-term relationships who am I to question why you stop my heart? Though I chipped your lid back in ’07, you still marinate my breasts with silken sauce and a smoky tamarind tang. We’ve watched banana smoothies brown in a day, outlasted…

Last Night Your Mother

shows up carrying a list of titles and magazines I have to read. She walks me away from the table in the center to her home up First Hill. She ushers me through the garden into her place as if we had been headed here for years. When she speaks, her eyes listen to my…

Last Childhood Poem

The blue box of Morton salt— “When it rains it pours.” Milk pours from milk cans. Lard sizzles in a cast-iron skillet. Dogs flop on cracked linoleum. This is the day that the Lord hath made. Year of our Lord 1953. Please pass the salt. Farm boots muddy linoleum. Cows let down their milk. Scrapple…

Thursday night dream

In her dream she met him in his apartment that had been an old mechanic’s garage. The bed was still on a lift that could be pulled up and down but they sat on the couch while the bed floated above some far corner. Huge windows stared in at them like eyes. She had come…

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Replace a mother with a sentence. Write ahead. Hurry. The pencil can’t catch her in a scratch of carbon. She’s erasing close behind. A quick rub, a whisper rolled in pink whisker across blue lines of graph paper going northsoutheast. A line never ends its infinite points. Parallels never cross. Her phrases crisscross like poetry….

Take One by Mouth

Every morning, a pill trembles down the throat: a shimmy-down rattle, a split-second tinnitus. Since this ritual began, I wake sweat-soaked from dreams of nakedness and water, things that drown. It’s your fear of being exposed, the doctor tells me, how you latch the door and lock it. I tell her I am trying to…