Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Old Maid

In this house we play it so:
you hold the last queen, you lose.
Shirts and ties to the thrift store,
and one side of your bed empty.

You become the wise buzzard
on the cover, and there’s more
empty time, Jack, than you imagined.
Your children made pairs of your free

hands, and won, for the time being.
You remember when old
wasn’t you or him, the sun
heated sand, his skin, the sea.

In this house we play it so:
his shirts, his ties, they have to go.

Friday, October 03, 2014


You haven’t talked to anyone for days
since being asked, “What have you done
in your life that is practical?”

You wear your best bone jewelry,
and last week’s bruises.
Those from years ago resurface in their
mossiness and bluish purples, the colors
of pigeons and oil spills —
a laugh that hurt your brother in law,
and your carelessness with a best friend
in college while out on a date you thought
mattered. It didn’t. The jerk. Remember?

We get little perspective outside
of ourselves. Your heartbeat is practical.
This breath, and the next one.
All of your cells conspire toward
the art of being and doing,
and original as sin, your spirit slipped in.

Maybe you like to make lists
and check each item off, perhaps
you leave the coffeepot on until
it sings a diesel fuel fire.

We grow old under scrutiny,
wizened looks and questions
about just what in the hell
we think we’re doing. Decades
of being asked and having
no answer. No answer beyond
your life. Your lucky daffodil life.
Love buries itself in you.
You release it like fireworks.