Sunday, April 25, 2010

Misplaced Encounter

for s

Our hands shook under stairs.
Under cover of stars, you told me
You were drunk, asked for a hug.
In the morning I evaporated.
You refused the memory.
Since then I’ve been transfixed,
Endlessly seduced, helplessly enthralled.
I wait up nights for you to make good.
I dream tangled curls and barbed glasses.
I flatten, grow dim for want of you.

Through the Mail

A box arrived with an Iowa postmark and bearing a long letter sealed with wax. She
drew a picture of the small figure she had included- it was like a hamster or a gerbil,
she said, but also something entirely imagined. Already on the voyage its long tail
had split into sections. I stared into the scratches marking its eyes and could not bear
to name it and make it knowable. Now it sits on my school desk, legs curled beneath
its flank, and waits for the day to come when I will need comforting. Clay emblem.

In Poland My Father Saw a Poster for a Band Called Iowa Super Soccer

Leather couches crowd
the town square, where
young people swill
hand-crafted draft beers,
sneer at onlookers,
argue about chess.
On the sidewalk my
bearded and sunscreened father
catches scraps of passing scenes
in flashes of light.
The cobbled brick of the street
assaults his feet.
The lamppost pummels him
with rococo brassiness.
The wind swirls talk in a foreign tongue
around the camera,
which glints in sun like a sword.

An Ode to Prairie Dogs

Unclasping your small hand from that of your mother, you waddle toward the squat
tunnel entrance. On all fours now, you crawl down and the sound of feet- stamping,
aboveground, insistent- reverberates through tight passages. In unlit parts they wail
and lament, those baby-bodied boys younger even than you. You squirm up a rough-
hewn pathway, rubbing raw soft palms and knees. When you reach the last platform
day pierces unpeeled retinas. You peer out the thick glass streaked through with snot
and sweat, and watch as flabby torsos with ears pricked up dig holes and give chase.

Egret and Dove

we nest together til you wake
then you rise, flit room to room.
from the couch where I am sprawled
I catch the sounds of your trilling song.
I capture you in two hands- you
who are all soft feathers and thumping heart.
I clutch you dove to my breast,
feel you breathe, then rest.

Untitled spring poem

I never wanted your body more now that
I can’t have it. I would kiss every inch
of you. Slowly, deliberately, and name
it. Your neck. Behind your right ear.
Your calves. We would both shudder,
a little, to discover how terrible our need
was. On the bed. Against the wall. I
would take you. See how beautiful
you are in the half-light? Do you see
how great my love is?