Wednesday, November 17, 2010


Winter is a scent-mark
left by ghosts on every sidewalk

to attract mates. The sweater
I unpack from the closet

is dry with the stuff, over-
clean. It says, "you have

still not been on the wrong
side of a gun this year, have

you?" and points to the babyfat
flags in my cheeks, citizenship

papers to the island nation
of privilege and self-doubt.

On TV, David Attenborough
watches the huge pink shapes

of walruses molting in the arctic
like giant snorting babies,

scraping off skin against rocks
in a slate-colored bay.

It was summer when
they did that. Now

they are on pack ice, drifting.
In weeks the ghosts will come

and it will be impossible to move
without moving through them.

They will speak in return for blood:
nonsense syllables, bits about

the difference between air and wind.
By March I'll know that dialect

say, "excuse me," take shallow breaths.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Inventory of the city

The streetlight peels night back for a closer look inside.
The bricks fish-scale themselves under the rain.

The pavement, the new pavement, is the smooth,
rounded side of a sailfish lancing into a school of mackerel.

The rain jumps up out of falling, then returns to falling.
The puddles bead together along the edges of the roads.

The air field strips itself like a rifle, discards everything.
In the day, each thing reflects some colors of the spectrum

to anyone looking; at night they buzz the presence of the beloved
by themselves. This place is live as nightcrawlers for bait

in the basement refrigerator, tangled beneath cool loam.

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