Tree bark and in it
initials swollen with time:
the man in the moon

or a rabbit or
whatever you think you see
up there taking on

a mind all its own:
the tide wools itself over
the battered shore: spring

comes to the mountains:
the mountains come to, smelling
the salt in the bloom:

it’s always over
before you know it: What hit,
you ask, come again?


Out from under form:
form being the throat, buoyan-
cies being the heart

and the heart long-gone:
green-black hills croak dawn upon
green-gray dawn: days di-

vulge: in time, whole weeks:
before you know it, you’re not
here anymore: nei-

ther are you then there:
Seize her! my playmate decreed—
her vocab, her sword—

so Shakespearean
for freeze tag, I thought under
my skull: a bit much,

really, like me, now,
did-you-knowing about trees
again, how even

with their hearts complete-
ly decayed, they thrive: hold that
strict fact like an air-

craft to a pattern
in your throat and ring your breath
around it: take heart.


We’re a contraction,
our laced fingers apostro-
phes, possessive: my

love, we’ve woven to
a selvage quilt: I crawl un-
der you crawl under

me: you and I, all
of a piece: you and I in-
tegral as refus-

al, as a cry of
color or sugar drawn up
through the length to leaf—

and the sapling, as
if a heart in a throat, sho-
ring us in two words.


Our way of life in
the way of our lives: feeling
deep down in the way

of bones: helium
in the way of the balloon,
light and severe green

joke on a string: to
survive, leave: to leave, survive:
some say: others say:

love, I say and say
and say again in my notes,
flyaway anchors

I hang on and tug:
our way of life gets in how:
how the ache gets in

detachment: days al-
ways break above and beyond:
we put in our all

and it ain’t no sa-
crifice: my own life blooms out
like a stone from clay.


A mine: to answer
in the form of a question
or to question in

the form of an an-
swer: what is the hole we dig
for the bomb, Alex,

and what is the bomb
itself, in answer: what is
an in inside me,

Alex: what am I,
even on the surface, in-
side (and, Alex, a

side question-answer:
geometrically speaking,
how does in prove to

be a side, I mean
really): what gives, but is
not given, Alex:

what ever takes and
what is ever taken, but
what is not care, what

is not heart, what is
not time tilled up like spring dirt
and practically

green with potential:
what is hard time, Alex: what
is hard-time-ticking:

what is worth: what is
worth-waiting, and what for: what
is an answer in

the form of possession: what
is what, if it weren’t for, we
wouldn’t have nothing.


Time tills itself up:
patience rolls over, presents
its dog belly, cool

pool rivery with
blue-black veins: pant, pant: I’m ev-
en on the surface

like a deep body,
deep like a body, body-
deep: I find my voice

where I’ve had it up
to all along: just you wait,
you’ll start seeing things,

too: you’ll take the mag-
nolia’s sunken branches
for torrents of rain:

you’ll take the magnol-
ia’s sunken branches for
beauty—not beauty

being buried live
as the snakes in the roadside
pit you stop for, just

two dollars to see,
but beauty all but caving:
what’s yours is yours: mine.


A line cast to catch:
a stitch undone: a sapling
drawn up from shadow-

ground like a runnel
of the long I sound in light:
light glinting edgewise

out in the offing:
who is playing who in this
opera: when did

this play become work:
is it ever not the shift
change: the end frays: wind

in the leaves like i-
vory dominoes of all
things: oh what luck: you

are what you are: fig-
ured here, self-portrait, crayon:
light lavender bones.


as a tone: nature as you
feel it to be with

your tongue or your foot:
the rip-threaded sea is one
thing to be under-

gone: as we all did,
I loved the circular racks
and spying, from with-

in the soft swishing,
my mother in small glimpses:
I will tell you you

were born when green was
heaviest within itself—
you’ll know the feeling:

I will tell you my
first memory: the feeling
of sand being pulled

from beneath my feet,
the ocean planting me deep
-er and deeper, re-

alizing I was
alive, and small, and could be-
come even smaller,

could even vanish,
but would never vanish with
my father laughing

and holding my hand
and digging me up, little
urchin that I was,

am still, that you are
now, will continue to be-
come: listen, the leaves

outside my window
are a deep green deepening
into ocean, each

leaf is a plash, each
leaf is a breaker, each leaf
is becoming its

own August ocean
with depths yet to be, yet to
be, yet to be: on

some branches the seas
seem to float, others hang, grape-
like and heavy, down

to earth as if they
know something the others don’t,
have given not up,

but over: at five,
I couldn’t comprehend you,
but I began to

know limits, limits
and how they dissolve into

how I am still held
there at the shoreline, how here
you are with me now.


Unfair of me to
call a son a sea, to say
the waves swell and break

as a sea of sons
might swell and break, break and swell,
swell and break: unfair

all the twigs I’ve snapped
just to hear the sound exposed
like a tender bell-

y or a geode:
unfair what I have taken
from the wide, bracing

shore into the dark
and silken pockets, where I
like to keep my hands,

as if they are as
capacious as the night sky:
this is a poem

not a post-mortem
or a post-production trick:
in the face of hid-

eous loss, hide-
ous loss, hideous loss I
find long lines crossfad-

ing into holes hold-
ing holes: mere: sea: mercy: cy-
an-hued hides of surg-

es imbuing mor-
bidity in their dissolve
from blue-green to blue.


The moon’s seas—mares—pan-
icked open in your chest: you
can’t let go of i-

deas: there is no
limit to inside either:
cave, lung, firelight:

to light on: to land:
all in a row, shelled shotguns:
slugs on a strong jaw:

the sea urchin’s whole
body is an eye—it’s skinned
in retina cells:

what’s not to love: don’t
answer: the tide lids over
the iris iris.