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The Ambulance Show

"An accident.
An ambulance.
Is anyone alive?"
None that I can see.

Men come out the back in
a flash of red, efficient, and
hide the faces,
X out the eyes -
for shame.

The wreckage of a man, empty
pinned bleeding between
the steering wheel and
the gear shift. This is
how it ends: with a bang
after all.  One who was
alive is now
dead. Clear the road.

So it is done and
so it begins but traffic still
slows in motion, stops and
moves like so much
blood through hardened
arteries. And lately

I'm thinking
that life (and death)
are nothing like
a movie on television
or a sitcom
where minor characters
move from week
to week, all new
and there is no past, no
shards or skidmarks to slow
for. Bit parts
die hard and, really, it is
more like a clip
show of
convenient memories designed
to count and cover the dead,
X their eyes and
clear the road.

A special at
season's end.
"Is anyone alive?"
Anyone? Any
one? None
that I
can see.
Recent posts

Public Works

Now the places where plows go and come from sleep.Their bellies rust. Their thick mouths dry with dreams of salt.
Meanwhile, the shed next door. Blades are honed or fixed anew to greenteethed riders on truckbeds bound for medians and breakdown lanes.
And through it all, gasoline - honey in the hive - trips the chain and feeds the stir of public works.

Spring and All

to Cynthia

This is not a letter of any consequence. Rather, I woke too soon from dreaming that the icebox hum was a trill of insects and tree frogs barking from the stilted elms along the river, that in my dream, spring had forwarded to summer where you, green and gorgeous, flashing, sighed heavy in the breeze.

So I write, to say it now while it’s still on my mind, that
I have taken to heart
your goads to submit my work for publication, reasoning that if you see some worth there then it must be so. Lately, I
am reading “Paterson,” have rounded the last corner and am nearing the end.  It feels like an accomplishment,
having read only excerpts
before now, though enough to rouse the poet in me
who thinks of things the same way. The Passaic River looms large in this work and
I think of you, growing
shy and wild along its self-same banks, hips
couching the womb that birthed you and how
uncanny it is for
you to resist its
pull and swim up- stream to where we met.
This is a letter
of no no…

The Most Beautiful of Birds

for Emily Dickinson

Through her Window,  she could show you  the most beautiful of birds while I

take the slow road south through budding blossoms that flutter in their spring  fall like white day moths.

The swimmer in each  center was a hummingbird.

The Night Sledders

for Sean
Let's go outside and build
our shadows on the snow
from headlights,
street lamps,
windows, and the moon.

Let's stack them taller
and make the hill a lift,
arms outstretched to
clutch the top
and pull us up to slide.

No one has to know.
The runners will erase
our trodden feet, a windigo
that packs the powder dry.
On plowbanks, I will
reach for you
as the street becomes a garden
filled with living statues,
and shaped by whirling blades.

Daylight Savings

written on the Friday before my 35th birthday
The morning's certainty – starlings in the trainyard imitating screaming hawks and a thought that I belong where I am both evaporate at the final early dark's approach.
Daylight savings time begins, but in the end, there's something lost. All the snow we've melted turns to ice at night, so I will worry the drive home safe, and wonder:
Will there be a bird of prey for real at the point of departure, or just more mimics
on the line instead?

I Have Seen The Sea

I know now why I want you:
You are an ocean to me,
each inspiration
a rising tide.

I know not your currents
though I wish to swim them,
to learn the rhythms of your deep
and drown in fierce,
swinging eyes:
grey, green, then blue.

I know now none too happy
that I am your near
and distant shoreline,
attendant to the borders
of your mystery
while you break upon and take
all of me, then recede.