Saturday, January 21, 2006

Four Poems

Get Me To the Church on Time
I was hoping for a language-free moment,
a moment to discourage the word.

I was, as you know, a prisoner
to my tongue, could bite it.

In my upper room, a sermon
was playing about sundry. I hid

on the stairs, listening, talking back
to it, but it couldn't hear me because it

was talking. I let it.
What choice did I have?

It was a good one, what to do with old guns:
bury them in the cellar, one by one.

I grew attached to my upper air, slept
with a pillow near the ground, it was no

basement, anymore; they'd blasted the bottom
half of her, left me to untie my shoes

from a distance of seventy feet --
that was because I have a cut. Sorry,

I said, meaning it, but it was nothing
to make up for. Next time try taking it.

(rev. Feb. 2006)

Poem for Spring
As soon as it is over
the beginning can begin
on the road out of Texas
hitched to me and other things
I want to keep forever
including a look at him
but my wallet is empty.

We are not as we have been.
Therapy leaves me friendless.
I post a note to strangers
who sell me a new kidney.
My blood sticks like dead women
to my sheets and hands. Burdens
to ease his smaller burden.

I close nice bank accounts.
I thank him for leaving me
flatter, tits the size of ribs.
His threats are good for nothing.
I ask him to finish me,
to put me out. He started it.
He offers to box
then stifles my talk.

April 1996

It's the end of a cycle.
The pause before
I've been here before but never known it.
Before, they told us to be beautiful about it.
Now, they tell us to be quiet about it.

Other people's poetry is all the poetry there is.
I dance driving.
I am a member of cabs.


Florence's Weekend
Grace brought
Ryan with his saw
to grind the trunk
and make the logs
build the stack
and clear the leaves
the tree left
when it died


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