Something Borrowed

She's gone. 
Her last suitcase,
the one with her favorite
toys, loaded into the back
of her caseworker's van,
and I'm sad.
You smile bravely, but
I know you are too
when she kissed your cheek
and said "I'll really
miss this place."

She'll long be in bed
at her new home tonight
as we tend fresh wounds
until morning comes
and passes.


Our silver station  wagon 
is peeled open and spilling
across Rogers Avenue
like a can of tomatos.
Bent through the window,
my father speaks glass and teeth.
My mother siezes in the
front seat. White eyes
of an oracle, quivering.

The phone rings on the
hospital wall. "How is she?"
a quaking voice asks.
The shock of my mother's
broken body speaks for me.
"We're fine," is all
I can say to the driver.

I still think about him
sometimes. A kid just out
of high school, he might
have children of his own
by now. The burden he must
still hold weighs on me,
and I wish he could see
my parents, smiling, as they
play with their grandkids.

I, Phone

Your fingers,
warm against my cheek,
caressing like pages
of sacred scrolls.

Your eyes are
vacant hotel rooms,
green glowing
in the dark.

The slack of
your jaw, the heat
of your breath,
So inviting.

Through the mirror,
rivulets of black,
and red, crawl
into your mouth,
lining your throat,
wiring muscle and bone,
burrowing copper
deep inside pink folds.

Your voice, your body,
a conduit.

Warrior Queen

Maggie is a gargoyle, perched 
in the window seat, surveying
her queendom on the other
side of the glass.

As dusk sets, she closes
her green eyes, praying
for ancestoral guidance
before the nightly hunt.

Twentieth street is littered
with her ghosts, some of whose
bloated corpses greet me
on the front porch.
A tribute.

She is a ruthless
titan, purring
herself to sleep
on my chest.

The Archer

“The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite. He bends you with His might that His arrows may go swift and far.” – Khalil Gibran

The true arrows of his verse 
still pierce my word and deed.
Some lie rusting and
splintered in forgotten fields.
Those dipped in poison hang
in the back closet of my mind,
waiting to be drawn on
another starless night.

For Ann

“My Grandmother once said that grief is the price we pay for love.” – Prince William

Dementia is a drunken playwright. 
Constantly shifting timelines,
changing scenery.
Recasting your children.
Resurrecting your husband,
just to bury him again.

I watched from the mezzanine,
whispering to myself,
waiting for you to rise
from your chair, to walk
off stage singing like
you used to.

At your funeral today,
I forced myself to look
at your picture.
The one with the subtle grin.
The one that will hang
in corridors of my mind,
touching my thoughts
before I speak them.