What doesn’t kill you only makes you
reconsider, later, whether
calling your barbarian of a neighbor

a barbarian
was really a good first stab
at honesty or just low tolerance
to the new medication.

Death, after all, is a possible side effect.

           * * *

Being human, there’s something flighty
with your compass, something flinty
with your lighter.

           * * *

Joy is one of those things you save for the hobby store,
those blessed moments of peace in the presence
of the little man with the white sandwich
on the little bench outside the train depot
built to some absurd scale
you could only be a demigod.

           * * *

Repainting is never a solution.

           * * *

The fox with its snout stuffed
in a flower is not a figure
for nostalgia.

It is simply his moment alone
without the hounds and the fat men
on horseback chasing close behind.

A moment of solace
in a game called How Far Can You Run
Before You Burst Into Flames?