Poem for a Persian Singer

when I held the envelope
full of music
my friend had sent
I knew the time
a little harmless
loneliness would guide
my hand holding
the circular polycarbonate
plastic disc
with the blue letters
spelling her name
into the machine
had come
and I heard
her voice inside me
make deep
ancient canyons
only sunlight
has ever known
some time passes
I suddenly notice
it is afternoon
I am standing
in the kitchen
holding a broom
she stops singing
alone for a while
the music wanders
then her voice returns
she says a word
it sounds like glacier
I’m pretty sure
the song describes
how it feels when
something important
does not happen
most of the afternoon
still listening I think
beautiful old stove
many people
we will never know
placed their hands
on your dials
hoping things
would never change
I cannot imagine
what it is like
for those who know
they must stand together
thinking for too long
we have waited
for fear which is not
a guest to leave
they might shoot us
but we will stay
here in the street
until we are all
at last older sisters
to each other



I lie in bed
staring at the ceiling
last night before
I fell asleep
I put the book
on the floor
looking down
I see its spine
with the golden
simple name
of the old
poet who might
already be dead
somehow he used
ancient magic
everyone says
we don’t need anymore
to place inside
me that perfect
at last
after all the formal
words of love
I could really imagine
how terrible
some day
not for fifty
years or so
but still
for one of us
to say goodbye
it will be
again fear
that is almost
seasickness and also
surely irrational
hope by that time
I will in some
way feel “ready”
through me
moves and then
asleep again
I am wearing
a dead rich
man’s black
luxurious overcoat
gold buttons
it is snowing
in a vast
wooden hallway
I am not cold
someone laughing
says just watch
them learn the same
lessons he means
my children I don’t
have yet
I touch the head
of a very important
black goat
and wake up again
the clock radio
says a small
tremor shook
some part
of the desert
no one lives in
tiny drones
we are flown
by what we do
not know into
blue election
inevitable spells
are cast
by warlocks
they move
their hands
and factories
rise or stadiums
into dust
8:10 am December
San Francisco
rainy season
you pull on
your boots
I call them purple
the label says
you leave
for work
and by a jolt
of atavistic
sadness electrified
I move
once again
to the impassive
black desk
to clock
in for my eternal
at the venerable
not for profit
Lucid & Dreaming