Poetry - October, 2011


Luke 24:36–42

He could not give up the flesh.
In the moments before we leave forever
we want to say what he did:
I have hands, feet, bones; touch me,
and is there anything for breakfast?

We are tethered to tubes,
nails hammered hard,
spear in our side, soon
to pass through, but still
this is my body,

with the scar on my hand from the bike accident,
the lungs shredded with chemo,
the broken left foot never quite healed,
but still all I have ever known:
this is my body.

If I rise, let it be not
as a ghost, no metaphor
for new life; please something
like this body, some flesh,
something I can understand.


Lexical reverie

Now say "public library" three times fast
and feel your voice give corners to the air.
Now hear the funny names my son has carried:
Boots and Gusto, Bips and Bixby, Mr. Sassafras

or Picklefeather—try that one on for size.
The skies in our heads are bright with characters,
song's constellations, linguistic cataract.
Steadily hewn, honed by angel tongues, words realize.



The tiny whitecaps
bare their rotten teeth
all morning
as wind berates rainwater,
as razors of rain
gash its surface
and then the thunder
takes back its threats
and the water in the birdbath
lies smooth enough to skate on,
lies like a mirror
holding up a silver airplane
while it crosses the sky safely,
all its people
drinking from their plastic cups.