watch my father in the home video,
and I know I will bury him
a few months after.
Did I sense then the soft, glacial passage
As I watch, his muscles are already melting on
His nose is already sliding off his skull.
and I wonder if he feels himself
like a balloon bounced from his grandson’s
careless and unhurried above our conversation.
my eyes closed, I watch.
breathing, as she dreams beside me,
is no more real than it is
solid, or tangible.
It is the heart of a balloon bounced from
our son’s fingertips.
I feel them all all all all
(even me, especially me)
briefly, as if settling,
until urged elsewhere,
by the slight breeze that moves the moon.
Like Living Vellum
see morning, pink and warm and indecent and soft
buttery flesh of an exposed midriff,
and she’s lounging
across the stolid hills behind Germantown Pike.
I want to bite
her a little, softly,
just in the tender spot,
salt and feel the flesh submit --
to make this day my own
writing short, slightly vulgar words on
inviting surface of her vellum skin.
over the hills,
I like to mount the pavement
as if I'm an
only satisfied when the concrete rolls
unable to cease until I say so.
insisting, prodding, grinding,
trying to make this day give up
its pleasure, its release.
sometimes it actually works.
Sometimes the day throbs joy and
juice, almost against its will.
Other times I pump away,
hopeless and stubborn, and just get winded.
But when the
pressure builds again next morning
and I swell and harden to
the day's come-on,
then I get right back on it and in
watching with animal cunning for
the tell-tale flush
that says the ride was worth the ride,
that the vellum day will shudder under my clutching hand.
of the Ordinary
dreams she is Gretta from James Joyce’s “The
Michael Furey is singing under her
doomed, beautiful, insidious.
quivering tenor buoys him into the next world on aoelian sails,
but she feels the weight of his sacrifice
the long years of marriage and children she still has to
She knows, as she listens to his hopeless melody,
the years of practicality awaiting her
will blunt the keening
of listening to this beautiful boy sing himself to
death in the name of love.
wakes, turning to the arid future of ordinary life,
called to normalcy by martinet necessity.
She wants to cry for
loss of imagined love and beauty.
But the drone of morning
already infiltrates her bedroom,
irritable as the light sneaking around her blinds.
There is no
snow falling faintly and faintly falling over all the living and
There is only the soft, fossilizing mud of routine
and must and should
covering beating hearts,