Grapefruit

for Gerald Stern   When I eat a grapefruit I peel the whole thing, thumb-open pink sections, let slick liquid drip from chin to table, a sticky scene of mayhem and grin. Maybe there’s a…

Spring Cleaning

  Juniper, holly, boxwood— they never let go of prickly green, slouch against the house, sharp-tongued and stolid. Who planted these yard brats? Why not camellia, she too never drops her leaves but embarrasses with…

Amber Cloud

  Sleepy heat, all-day drowsing heat, like the day I died, not for too long but dead enough for the back of a doctor’s truck, rolled in a quilt from the bed I’d been dreaming…

Elegy for Your Breasts

  For their heresy, you dress the twin sisters in what they deserve, layers on layers of fabric, drapes hung close to the skin, raiments of unspun wool, burlap and damp gabardine— those heavy, pensive…

Ode to Stretchmarks

  You silver spiders, skinny legs criss-crossing my hips, you sneaky thief of taut and allure, how you snakedance on my belly like seaweed swaying in the brine, waving a sign that announces used womb,…

From This Chair

  It has to be a certain kind of quiet when even October’s cricket wears out, when the owls give up, lay their impossible heads down to their chests, and no car makes the turn…

The Story, For Now

No father. That’s what I told you. By second grade, friends said all kids have one, somewhere, called you liar. The difference between biology and Dad? That’s the story that grew as you grew, like…

One Last Thing

A coffee and cookie, pillow under the knees, says that all he needs. He’s tired, not from lack of sleep, but the other kind that no amount of rest erases. The body is putting up…

Les Menhirs

                        Menhirs, or long stones, are thousands year-old upright carving set in fields, likely used for rituals related to fertility and death. A river begins at the top of a mountain, from rainfall or…

At the Cubbyhole Bar

                        for Donna Bianco, retired sergeant, NYPD Two martinis up with olives, you tell me stories about your father dead from AIDS, his late-night fishing pal dead from the same thing. Your mother worried…