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AN AFFINITY FOR PLACE

                     the photo shoot

How long must he hunt for this brocade, this dream of autumn?

The browned grass and clung leaf etched in frost –

a shiv...

        EDGE OF EMPATHY  

No vault inside me to store

your heartache,

keep secure your secrets.

More sponge, pore-bearer,

sodden.  Squeeze me

dry and empty.  A wall

to hold me at safe remove? 

Too cold, too far, dressed

in a long black ro...

DAY FOLDS INTO NIGHT

A ceramic owl stares from the fence post

to scare away raccoon and vole.

At daybreak, the toddler in my arms

reaches for it – her ooh! an excited mimicry.

Inside, on a shelf stands Athena –

the owl her familiar, whispering in her ear.

In the news – anothe...

       Laughter Really Is Carbonated Holiness

                        Annie Lamott

All the girls in the family do it –

throw back our heads in...

        BODIES OF WATER

            viewing George Went Swimming at Barnes Hole, but It Got Cold by Joan Mitchell (1957)

       In the painting, the dog’s splashes

– evoked...

          Negative Space

                        making a photo album of my mother

...

HERS IS a PLEA for NOTHINGNESS

No, not even dreams. Relentless,

thoughts – both somber and trivial –

carry her away

to before, to after, never still here

on these sheets, under this quilt.

Restless as a small boat lost

in choppy waters.  Utterly lonely.

How much time has passe...

HE HAD LONG SINCE GIVEN UP

In the earth’s spin and revolve –

no voice says now, no finger

points to the hands on a clock face,

no bell tolls the call to prayer.

Yet the sun’s slanted rays in autumn 

can startle a man out of his fugue,

blind him to past defeats,

cause him to we...

CONFLAGRATIONS

At night, hearing her muffled sobs

I’d find mother in the kitchen – the only

light coming from the open refrigerator. 

She’d stand, hands in the ice bin,

trying to douse the fire beneath her skin.

Years later, it was her feet that burned,

then turned cold. Fina...

          IT WAS MY IDEA  

Though well-meaning, your words

probe at just-closed wounds.

Or at least this is how I take them.

A contemplation, you explain.

Try your own navel, I retort.

Habits, like a nun’s garb,

we cannot seem to s...

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