Kachinas come in slumber,
her black molasses eyes beneath lids
but kachinas come and dance,
shake her with nocturnal solutions
to the day’s murals in motion.
She rises to greet them in their
silent feather dress, their
masks alive with shifting paint.
Moving the mirror overhead,
she enters the turquoise of her need.
At dawn break the kachinas
go back to their world
and the mirror with the image of her eyes
has the new significance
of a novel written while entranced,
an ochre moon at twilight.
There’s nothing like a pubic hair
on the tissue box to tell you you’re home
and you peel off your socks like
the skins of little neck clams, throwing them
in opposite directions purposely so
they look just as worn and alone as you are.
There’s nothing like mold in the vegetable bin
that smells like home since you’ve been out
and dressed proper and all with dead ants
holding onto the tread of your shiny shoes
and a few let go onto your neighbor’s mauve carpet
but you stand on them chatting to Chicklets.
There’s nothing like eating eggs for a week
then deciding you only wanted eggs anyway
and at least you always have coffee and milk
and of course, butts, but the eggs seem to turn
the ceiling brown and your eyes yellow but
at least you’re home listening to mice sing a cappella.
At least you’re home, that’s the main point
til’ you run out of things or have to attend
a function of the public sort and then
you put on your shiny hair and brush your shoes
and buy Chicklets by the dozen, fixing to stuff
smokes in the grinning cellophane box to go out.
In Love in Falmouth
You are the window,
the ocean ebbing,
the dance at twilight-
a room with a view.
What is my natural state?
Wait a minute, wait five, wait ten.
The aperture opens, I blink.
In a flash, I switch direction.
I cry at the joy of music.
I smile at the finality of death.
In between, the body
of my mind flinches
at the exposure.
Just let me walk out the door this time.
I’ll take with me all which they carried.
A photograph, a medal, a lipstick.
No medium to conjure the spirits
but the drawing I left on the desk.
I left it with you to remind you
the night flight to Paris is due.
“Maybe you’ll find me sexy,” he said.
And his mouth turned like spare coils.
“After reading my verse and wanting me,
wondering how far I’ve come and how long
it will take you to get where you’re going.”
“Maybe you’ll find me coy,” he said.
“And think of strawberries in December
on a bed of parsley laid out like lovers;
wondering how I put the fire out
when my pen burns words into the page.”
“Maybe you’ll find me alluring,” he said.
“In my black silk boxers writing at my desk.
You want me to write for you.
Your heart answers to poetry.
I see your blush.”
The Staghorn Fern – Father’s Day
You two worked in unison
in everything you did.
So much so that you kept
alive the scraggly Stagorn Fern
by your love, and refuse, too.
Dad, you lovingly hooked it to
the palm tree in a wire basket;
Mom fed it banana peels.
Together you created a mammoth
living thing, this incredible
Love, air, and even waste creates all.
Now it’s grown over the basket
and threatens to fall from the tree.
But it’s as steadfast as your
love for each other,
the love that created me.