because while some truths lend themselves to equations, others are best described in verse


Normal rhythms

If you listen, you can feel
the fat whoosh pounding
beneath fingertips, the ready warmth
of rush-of-red head-
ward from heart: not
ruby-red or glitter-red
like Dorothy’s slippers
but still magic, the way
the machine putters on,
isn’t it? How I can put pen
to paper or make love
with my thumbs by typing
less than 3 or wink or walk

while under it all
I am filled
with the smell of rust, bloodstink,
someone said, like old traintracks
sunk in summer mud,
persistent as hell, as sin; copper-
tinged bleeps on a blank screen :
alphabet soup : pee-kew-ar-ess, an iron-
y bulge-thump of muscle: lub-
dup like the one-legged steps
of my father’s crutches, how
it has nothing to do with love,
after all, and everything, lub-dup,
lub-dup, lub-dup unremarkable
until it is not.



In the East End,
in a brisk wind, sleeveless,
I blow dandelions
through the abandoned lot
by the doughnut shop
across from the all-week
fleamarket, watch the minivans
pull in and out,
the oldsters settling
at the counter in turn
with the newspaper
and a cup of coffee.
Huey Lewis belts softly
from a tv screen hanging
in the front corner;
I catch you singing
into your t-shirt happy
to be stuck with you
as I sidle up to order
my glazed lemon,
and, like she means it,
the waitress smiles.


Today’s morning dawns like déjà vu: how you
left like it was forever, how we felt
as impermanent as newly ironed sheets,
shifting bedrock to sift for truth
at the river’s bottom. A cloud of fruitflies beggars
by the front door, just-hatched things
kamikazi-ing for freedom. I find ants
drowning inside the honey jar, dead with smiles
on their tiny ant-faces. Black birds
bowl up inside the bedroom gutters,
scratch like chickens in a strong wind,
hungry for April. But the weather is changing, and we
no longer lightning rods drawn
electric to ground—wake early; unclutch;
go about our hours like icebergs
sunk in an ocean of minutes.