My Neighbor Loves Eagles but is Self-Conscious in the Study of Bald Things
A yellow light is a parking lot for inheritance.
Hear them: sirens rowing the river home
to some mother whose least favorite heritage is loss.
It is things like this that make me imagine
loneliness is a bookmark—the way a thumb breaks
a page of us into remembering where we left off.
Who says you're not in there, middle-aged monotony,
National Geographic spread across the coffee table—
a dishwasher is the echo of the way we lick our wounds.
Candle flame in the bathroom, pail of paint in the hallway.
Convince myself dark sky is a sheet we crawl under
to make love, that trash in the parking lot between us
is all the love letters we wrote to each other,
decided against, and then tore to pieces.
Between you and remembering myself
as a window—I have seen through
twenty years of candle painted wounds; we have aged
as couches do—both me and the monotony
of imagining a lover—whose hands are tied
around a concept of the head. Insecurity and inheritance
meet at an intersection, and I have dreams
of walking through a department store
and finding you a hat. Things look least favorite
from the road's view, I tell myself you are more
than a stoplight or a bathroom fan—
that a highway is just a hair I pull from my pillow case.
Besides the Rest, the Forest Shows Signs of Tuberculosis
Here's to leaving the window open in winter.
Let them have it. The window.
This is the sort of thing you try to tell me
fits in a glove box—everything
is a cheaper version of something else.
A woodstove leans its long neck
(coughs) up the morning.
Horizon tries to start a car and fails.
This has to be the way
moss diagnoses the rain.
It is like somebody
has not been here. Rake leaves from the breakfast
bar, can be a place for planting pines.
None of this is a love story
is what two forests call out
over a body of water.
Bergenia has forgotten. Let it.
Shy, is what we would have liked
to name a Wednesday
last night, you and the snow deepening
into the darkness—
disappearing farther across the surface
of the frozen lake.
My Sixteen Thousand Seven Hundred and Seventy Five Nights with Jerry Sandusky
for Dottie Sandusky
This is the way a day ends—
mouth drinking from a showerhead,
ripe peaches in the garbage disposal.
There are beehives beneath my waistband.
What a waste
all afternoon was
full of sting and sweaty pollination.
A bird breathes heavy,
the ways of sleeping in the flower bed.
Beside the barn, an Oldsmobile
is on bricks, that bird builds a nest
inside the wheel well.
(This is what I saw
when I saw I thought
I was thinking about leaving.)
At night, I've begun to pretend
I wake, walk thorn-heeled
into the river—watch
a turtle snap at mayflies,
slick of a pike's back loosen
the knots I have tried to tie in water.
Another night— this time, I do not wake to the sound of drought—all this
dead grass dipped in sky.
I pull a robe, some slippers, passed midnight and I
repaint the walls the color of your flesh—
sometimes it feels like this—that I have lived
a lifetime inside you.
Summer has begun to taste like ceiling fan—
all the dust and no relief.
I've turned off the air conditioning, imagine
heat of the hallway as your breath.
It is fading, the voice you used
to tell me to open the window—
wren in the birdbath—splash
of nectarine on the carpet— dripping,
you love rain on the blinds, how it rolls from sill.
You have become these water stains
on the drywall.
Radio tells me I can save
on window treatments—it is the first time
I notice that I am dying
to tell you that I've never been very good at opening
Clamp the window shut,
slip a note under the bedroom door to myself.
Just the itching of moonlight, how it tastes
like gravel in August.
But it is dark, even the river
has something worth running away from.