Weren’t We Known?
Running out of ourselves urgent
anxious we were spirits of some kind
ghoulish forgotten ones
living in half-light we could barely peep in
and never found ourselves in photographs
we found nothing made by our own hands
we could not envision or make you see
how we lived moved
through space touched or held by others
none of this could be shown by camera
that we walked in anyone's life.
It has to be a mistake
that we do not remember
putting on these clothes
how many years ago?
As if the light holding us both
has somehow broadcast us
from New Jersey farm
to Ohio bedroom the night
before your wedding
My Father’s Shirts
After my father died,
his second wife, the one
who hates my politics,
gave me a bag of his clothes.
Shirts, sweaters, and a year's
supply of white handkerchiefs.
Everything was permeated
with a sweet, cheap cologne,
even the leather brief case.
I inherited the clothes, the case,
with every ID card he ever had
and years of Scouting memorabilia.
All of it doused in that sickeningly
I gave the shirts away,
tossed the case, now moldy,
but kept the ID cards, the patches,
the medals and insignia,
because it was the only way
he ever said anything about his life.
I never knew much about him,
but he did love a uniform.
Reflections on Hwy 66
Every day a moment appears
with moving streams of light
entwined with swaths of darkness.
It could be a slat of headlights
cutting through the shadows
on the midnight bathroom wall.
It could be a rising moon.
It could be the shooting
of stars for wishes.
Always something lost,
Freedom lost or won,
depending on who is asking,
on who orbits around the planets,
swinging dark side, light.
Is it only that our understanding
of the world has been filleted,
leaving slices through our thoughts?
Or the old words shredded?
The new ones still sticking
in the throats of the believers.
Just as we think a new sort
of poetry has opened up our hearts,
it begins to feel false and empty.
It loses its integrity...but then,
all is restored again, until we
arrive at the final hour.
We find we've been talking
to ourselves in one dream
after another, rapid fire dreaming–
flashes of light
cut through the darkness.
A moon returns.
The heavens darken.
The moon departs, arrives,
silver and wavering
on the surface
of her borrow pit.