I could give your palace more glass shine,
facing eastward every year without knowing.
And no, it’s not convincing waking in fog and rain,
steel and stone soaring above the living. After many
springs, streets accrue their grief, and the people
are nameless. I broadcast my hunger,
heartwood under skin radiant as coronas—
what’s there: son of tenderness, son of disasters.
When the lonely swirl nights, I run toward them,
a concentric eye wall, my indestructible hunger.

The Nature of Affairs

Each time, as if we were born blinking
to ourselves, pushing into an expectant world—
the shocking smell of chlorine at the edge,
yet, an accountable, country club sweetness, too,
that reigns for awhile, sensuous luxury
that makes early morning kisses, normally brocaded
and fetid, like little sips of martinis. Lost on the outskirts
of town, and in what surrounds us—dark abyss out
of which we drive headlights through the ghoulish air.

More Feeling

How did I come to make a crisis of the body?
I could give your palace more glass shine,
undreaming the sea from the mountains.
Had I possessed the poise to possess
my faraway thirst for mornings. I’m glum.
Your sportive flesh in the empire of blab
is the latest guy running his trendy tongue
as if every evening your body beneath his snarl.
Over our shoulders, our bodies fall—the lamps.
For I was born, too, in the muted winter of History.


How did I come to make a crisis
of the body, my fingers evaporating inside?
The stillness of a lover’s mouth
assaulted me. I never wearied of anecdotes
on the Commons, gesturing until I scattered
myself into a luminance, shining over a village
of women. Was I less human or more? I hear still
my breathing echoing off their pillows. So many
eyes like crushed flowers. Our fingers splayed
over a bed’s edge. We were blown away.


As if every evening your body is a smile
mingling with the sea or the sky’s last song
over the cenotaph of violets wilting in Eastham.
On the day of the crime, the afternoon was empty.
We were footnotes on the beach and came back the color
of pancakes. I was giving the Rosicrucians another chance,
knowing how hunger prevails long after we’ve turned
our backs on cruelty towards Faulkner and Seneca. 
My gratitude was fragile, for I was kissing the thorns.
“To sea! To sea!” shouted the marvelous girls, “To sea!”


I was born scarcely before autumn full of night songs—
my screaming body a codex
of hurting. I tried to name first stars
and bird-shadows, prophecy of a greater tempest.
Later it was me supplying earth
her graves, leaves dying in a rainbow
of blossom, spiraling cadavers. On the playground
the last seasonal light firing over slides
and swing sets, those lost notes swirled
and lit my darkened throat.

Leave It All Up to Me

All we want is to succumb to a single kiss
that will contain us like a marathon
with no finish line, and if so, that we land
like newspapers before sunrise, halcyon
mornings like blue martinis. I am learning
the steps to a foreign song: her mind
was torpedo, and her body was storm,
a kind of Wow. All we want is a metropolis
of Sundays, an empire of hand-holding and park
benches. She says, “Leave it all up to me.”


Whichever way our shoulders move, there’s joy.
Make a soft hollow noise. We’ve our own hourglass
and no one else to blame. I thought of our lives,
caressing ruins through half-opened windows.
I hear our prayers rising. I sing to you, now,
like scented candles, your ferocious wolf.
I no longer want this weather on my breath
or the many recognizable texts of our celestial holes.
A ceiling fan turns above. The arson is in us.
This is the year I’ll contemplate the fire-fangled sky.