The naval admiral’s shallow body
Is smaller than I imagined
In the nucleus of a nuclear submarine
Elusive to then Soviet fish spawning
On the sides of a metal ship
Adrift on driftwood
Hardly belonging to any sovereign
I am answering a question that keeps
Nagging at me
Would I save him
From a sniper,
At the center of a
If I am forced
Unnaturally to consider the matter
Relying only on reflex
If I am forced
The admiral’s eyes mirror my transparency
As he wonders what I would do
If I am to choose
Redrawn or imagined
Why does it matter anyway?
If placed in the unnatural
I could become predator or savior
If I am emptied
Of the people I am
Forced always to commit to love
Locked (Via Auxerre France)
The cabin for four passengers trembles
As its weight bores into the track
A frozen-in window looks back
A pigeon in serenade settles
In between mason stones the walled
Courtyard fills up
With what sounds like a scream
Workers in the apartment across
The way with Eastern European accents
Plainly observed from a tall
Over-sized window built by Baron
Haussmann Napoleon III’s city planner-célèbre
Begin to hammer & tighten
Screws they arrive like clockwork
Beginning & ending the day
Fulfilling a plan we are
Also visitors fulfilling a plan
Of our own as this courtyard
Records the sounds of restlessness
Coming & going a civilization
Lost & regained
In one snap of la minuterie
An automatic on & off switch
Lighting the way up
As vertigo unbalances underfoot
Ascending two steps at a time
Swept up in a summer draft
The overwhelming heat rising
To the 4th floor merging with air
Made in sleep
There was a full moon that rose
Too high my neck couldn't
Support the sight blocking
Curved planks the landlord expected
Us to shutter the windows before
Leaving the apartment trapping the thin
Symmetry of cool inside-air locking
the heat & whatever it brings out
Manmade artifacts in survival
Guarded by luck or maybe by something
Not man-made the rue traces
Back to war-era steps
The train’s weight roars
Into more summer to be had
Locking in this morning
Don't Tell the Women (Ghazal)
Small, we have the sun to unseat, holding it down, unrequited.
In the disfigured street, I left him. Our sun, unrequited.
The rooster stares into the sun, we are together for a day.
Read with me Unreadable, a fugue we make—unrequited.
I am lost to distance, quietly weaving a carpet.
Loom with me a fugue made of love threads, unrequited.
Don’t tell the women, the moon & sun will be hushed.
Put into place, for an uncertain life, unrequited.
You saw drags of being in me to live up to, the sun to unseat.
Will you get water with me on our way up, unrequited?
Which tree will I inhabit, only the unrequited will know & tell.
I weave golden thread into the sun, rising to meet the day, unrequited.
When I discovered nihilism, I held on for more light.
The good it did—the sound of the moon, unrequited.
The pockets are overflowing with knowledge, replacing the sun.
I make-up ruins, humming—unrequited.
If history is on repeat, I will be taken—again, left to hold on to air.
No, your father’s star, you will not be held—by the unrequited.
I keep measuring out my life in breaths—holding on.
Let’s do it, run away with one star for a map, unrequited.