The drawing We're Not That Close shows a pair of figures connected at the spine, but protected from each other by bullet-proof vests.
Today I caught a glimpse of you
in the fog of the rearview mirror.
That's your expression reconfiguring
my everyday face.
What’s all mine, then?
I arch the eyebrows you gave me--
drawbridge to the flood of memory
nestled in this lump at my throat.
The house lies wedged in the hill
buried with idea of home, waiting
in the light of four o'clock.
Waiting with a force of habit.
I touch your storied yellow diamond,
imagine the next girl child:She'll finger
its facets like a picture book. She'll turn
to a face I can no longer see and ask:
Who wore this last? Was she anything like me?
This drawing of a Twosome shows the relationship between two heads connected by a diagonal of charcoal. The blacks and grays all around them give the viewer a clue about how well the subjects know each other.
Ladies Who Lunch
Double air kisses, double
espressos. Shared dessert,
split check. Sullen waiters
know not to expect a big tip.
Men and mothers talked to death.
Inventory of body parts, shifted
or defunct, taken and ticked off.
Cracks so caulked with make-up,
it’s hard to tell which woman
returned from her last vacation
looking especially rested.
Thirty years of this, each thinks
as they drive off in different directions.
God, she’s gotten old! I remember when
she drank straight from the bottle, wiped
her mouth with the back of her hand
and burped the alphabet at parties.
This Grouch can't find his center.
Angry words sprawl nude inside your mouth,
tell me we’ve rolled all wrong, an unlucky pair
of dice. We need a referee. Even the television
has its team of filament, plate and negotiating grid.
The gun shoots electrons, but its flash into phosphor soothes me.
While kitchen air sings with inconsistencies
in the silent treatment (banging pan, bodice-ripping sigh)
downtime lags and lolls about in aimless figures eight.
At last we face each other, brittle as breaking mirrors.
Yes/No films your eyes with chemical tears, and I watch
my reflection come up like a 2nd or 3rd chance, crumpling
multiplied tissues, only trying to help.
You’ve handed me your heart. I take it in my mouth,
careful not to bite down.
A parable unreels in air made luminous
with silver nitrate and dust. Glint struck
off a propeller tells a story begun
far from here.
Contrails corkscrew toward animals cringing in their furs like dowagers
in a bad neighborhood. Two old pilots
play chess in the park, hearing aids off,
cataract eyes unable to track disturbances
in the air of newsreel memories.
In their wars, charged images flicked past
too fast to register. Information received
at 15 spins/second condenses thought
to pudding, ricochets off the exits
and perpetual threat of fire.
Pub news: The new Megaera has a sister poem in it , and there are new reviews of Suzanne Frischkorn's Spring Tide and Alex Stolis's Winter Solstice at Alsop Review.