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




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.

Like lilacs out of the dead land


This poem is for you, hurting; for you, laughing; for you, forgot. For the bitter asphalt. For the old green of faded Easter grass and the new green of a cold clear day. For the ceaselessness of ceiling fans. For missed chances and weak coffee. This is the poem of a thousand crumbled stars, a thousand sweaty fingers. Of mascara on the pillowcase. Of the words to old songs you never knew. Of the heron-walkers. Of brick pores and blown dandelions and denim. It is the crack of old skin, the give of bone, side-eyed and river-wound, wounded. The story told in cut wood, the stain left by a Sunday mug. This is why we cry out of nowhere, light candles to Saint Jude, dance in living rooms by the flatscreen glow, lie awake in our darks, text drunk, forgive. Why we bottom up, why we jump, why we drown. This is why we breathe, why we keep breathing. This is breath. This is April.