Then, a Robin

In our raw loss new absence burrowed quickly rearranged the loam and its ant kingdoms, the tins and buried spoons. We’d come from the beach with prayers on our lips, and a handful of shells touched by candle wax when a robin twitched the ivy wall and caught my daughter’s eye. Only the day before…

5 Seconds on the Microwave

All night the rain unmoors the deeper waters, layering coastal rocks in glacial crayon. Lazy barnacles are toothy lips sucking light years from the galaxy, swallowing the wholeness of time. I sit here circling the rings of a knotty tree trunk whose life drained in these waters: 1910, the poem an object to lug around,…

Alongside Her Dying

The courtyard Buddha sits before the light fringe of white alyssum in dark November. Let those frayed ruffles stand for what fades away these mornings, as though Persephone had gathered the blooms to strew downriver. The first grey clouds drift like something torn from her hem. In the vault of morning, memory strays as juncos…

Miss O’Keeffe Makes Pea Soup

There is a bit of a bitch in every good cook I wrote in the flyleaf of one of my cookbooks. My body, that reservoir of desire, lusts after the freshest peas. At the thumb’s suggestion, their crisp robes slide open. When my kimono slipped off. Stieglitz photographed my body, spring pea supple & smooth….

Leon Evans

True story. Leon Evans is a logger, a man who’s good to look at, lean with eyes like sapphires shining through the grime on his face after a day’s hard work when he’s too tired to care about anything but getting some dinner and sleep. His marriage to Zina didn’t last. They say he was…

What Was Good about Going to Church

I liked that everything was turning into something else. I was becoming a believer in the one big body. All of us growing into various limbs and organs of one Beloved, yearning for Bridegroom Christ and a strange consummation. And that so much of church was about food: coffee hour, communion, the grand picnic narratives…

In Those Early Days, White Room Girl Dreams of Loneliness

Sometimes I pretend there is no one in the next bed, that the light through these windows comes only for me, that the clicks and whirs I hear are merely the wind or some small bird winding the clock. Then Violet groans and turns in her white sheet and they come with their kind tray…

The Gold Car

Dear John, I hope you don’t mind me rummaging through the jumble drawer again. I am taking the gold car with the black ski racks. I need it to get where I am going, though I don’t know where that is. I searched for a map to go with the car and under a pile…