[ a collection of crumbs
some detritus,
light, to throw off thieves.

The good stuff's hidden. ]

on a cemetery statuette

she weeps in her neglect;
a spider defecated webs
and left a sad integument
where death and dust collect,

and in its way protects her,
draws her closer to her grief;
the return of nature in relief
completes her sorrow


You wandered by when I still
slung books over my shoulder,
but I stared at my shoes,
distracted by moments
in history, stuck
in my head
searching for some
map of the future,
figuring the lines,
the route toward

Well, here I am now,
not much further along,
and you seem so
far down the road.

So what's up?
Need new shoes.

ten + 27

it's all I got
and a sweet tear appears out of nowhere,
unseen, but felt and tasted

why this joy is so cataclysmic
so earnest and such a shock
(and so terribly indiscreet)

I think I'm embarrassed
though alone and unwatched,
it's all the fault of childhood

and a dream resurrected
you know that one
I made the mistake to have?


the night cries with sirens
in the city;
I can picture saddened faces
around a fading baby boy
or a frantic addled woman
running aside a quiet man,
wheeled away and into the ambulance,
driven quickly into the hands of tired nurses

the sweet scent of peppermint
lifts from my tea;
I want to drink it quickly
and not enjoy it


If I could sense it slowly
shifting to the north and to the west,
parting halfway down the middle,
the crack filling with mantle,
like mortar between massive bricks
of cheated broken land,

I might feel a gentle peace,
as one does when one finally dies.
So it isn't that I haven't
loved the place I want to leave.
I've memorized its ugly face
and found it beautiful.

Eleven Haiku by a 20-year-old European American

Quiet sparkles drop
in a line; "thanks for glancing,"
they whisper. I nod.

Shades part a staring
inch; I walk by and smile
at the peeking crack.

Peanut butter on
a pretzel sticks to the roof
of my happy mouth.

Wax like an ugly
sniff slips unhappily down
the ailing candle.

Crumpled message lands
in wastebasket; who has time
to light them on fire?

Startled by my steps,
the shy cricket hushes like
a singing father.

Register jingles;
she exchanges my blue dime
for a silver one.

"Strange spot for a scratch."
"Put your lips there, and maybe
it will go away."

Eraser dust falls
from a misspelled word and forms
its own on the floor.

This hug puzzles me.
Should I enjoy it this much?
Why not? It is free.

Bed creaks; someone sighs.
It's not me, yet there's no one
else here in the room.

"High Up"

Rivers of asphalt
roar down the mountainsides,
slick, dark, and crumbling.
I stop and wait the night.
The odd water cleans the air,
and at dawn the clearest sight
shocks me suddenly aware
of strange delights
lost to old recollection.

The segmented land below,
where green and brown
meet black and grey,
maintains a dark complacency.
It seems so roughly hewn,
a collection of bemused strangers
brought together by mistake.
The sun and mountains intersect,
but cities measure the open plain
and close the space from next to next,
and fill the guilded memory with pain:

the thought of elk descending to this place,
of migrating flocks of waterfowl,
of grizzlies nosing through the woods
and people collecting acorns,
of rivers and meandering streams,
and new men with their narrow dreams.


A butterfly flirts with the edge of the lake
and executes a pirouette,
and that is time for you, sometimes,
a rapid spin that stays airborne somehow.
Yet every season drops behind you
like the footfall of a giant,
and every year he moves in closer to the kill.

So a flower spins across the sky
in a casual courtship with the wind,
and branches mingle freely without a care.
Birds draw perfect circles overhead,
and bugs caress the bark of trees,
and you try not to stare.


Today I call myself a honey bee, as in the thing I am.
I have a common name with who I was, of course,
which in terms of nomenclature means I am the same --
but the friends I make today replace those of before,
and I will make a million more.

Ha! I was a squirrel that harbored nuts, but they have rolled away.
Oh, I was a fish that tasted every worm that sank my way.
And --and-- once I was a lion proud and strong, showing off my mane.
As that I gathered many friendships -- some remain.

But in the edges of my footprints, which also stay the same,
like the pollen from my wings, I leave a bit of who I am behind,
and like the bees that fly around sputtering my name,
the memories of who I was spin around my mind.