--Charlottesville, VA

Fresh stones,
offspring of boulders and gusts,
dictate my steps
between the train tracks.
Looking up, I catch the mountains
glowing beneath their blue skin--embers
glazed in atmosphere.
At the intersection, orphan iron segments
lay lifeless on the ground,
orange and poisoned by oxygen.
I pause for the landscape
of the phantom artist.
What shall we call this peace?


New Fire

Will burn blindly as the old.
All fairness in ash,
in the hands of those whose job it is
to sift through flame's wake.
No coincidence--an oven mitt
left on the stove or space-heater
toppled by the dog.
It will begin composed--hushed on its perimeter,
inverted hurricane--the fury set inside,
rooted in wind.
It will detonate, denote: collapsing nations,
resculpting postcard facades. It will die slowly
under the rubble.

Leave your hose, suck the ladder back into the truck.
This is your new blaze--glowing debris,
damage dealt three card monte. Shuffle
your thoughts, raise your visor.
With your hands, try to find things human.


--en route, Indiana

On an open heartland road, silent of trees,
an ant falls from the sky onto my shoulder.
No iron wings or stretched pinions
for an eye's length, the sky is bare as a table cloth
awaiting dinner settings.

For some there is no egg--
no womb or pouch,
no amnion of rebirth.
They just drop from the horizon
like crates of rations
shoved off the curbs of paradise.

A black asterisk
crawls across the limbo of my white shirt.
Who were you, what is your
expired name--can you remember?
I'll call you Samuel,
brushing the ant from my sleeve,
christening it with the back of my hand,
as it floats down onto the weed-flanked asphalt.


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