The kitchen sinks

In Massachusetts I stand at the kitchen sink
with no view. I nudge the faucet right to
get cold water, and I wonder what happened
to the yellow clock that once did me the favor
of standing in for the sun.

In Wisconsin I stand at a kitchen sink
with a view. I had forgotten what it was
like, to consider light this way, to
contemplate the odd twist of a tree,
the weather, what I might have said—
while my fingernails scrape congealed
oatmeal from the new bowls.

Here, I nudge the faucet left to
get cold water, and I wait. Here, 
the cold water is in no rush and
takes its good old time. I wait and
I remember when half of you
was gone from me, but this way:
head and torso communing with
the plumbing, unseen,
your thick bare feet and stained
trousers a better view than the one
just outside the window. If I knew
how I would nudge you to hot
and show you what I would like
to remember.


Start with what you know

Start with what you know. Your face. Your neck. Your shoulders, and all that rests below.

The freckles are getting bigger. You refuse to call them "spots." But you know this is age, reminding you that you are part of the human race. You are not exempt from the mottling, the grays, the aches, the droop, the sag, the parchment skin of your grandmothers. You loved their skin, can feel the thin, dry, papery touch of it under your plump child's hand. Skin was not then something to fear.

How to Meet Meryl Streep (2005)

There are many, many things you must not do right now. But here is what you must do: stay calm. Breathe as deeply as you can, which is not very deeply at all. Your ribs are crumpling from the pressure. In case you lost consciousness for a moment, you are standing two feet away from Meryl Streep, under the suspended halves of a very large boulder...

Sailing lesson


We embark on our nautical adventure
knowing and not knowing a few things,

You're not so sure about your sailboat motor anymore.
Like you, it's over 40 and doesn't like to admit
that it's always sore in the mornings...

The door

The door would not close.
I had tried for years
to close it behind me.

So like me, to fill a room
too full, to keep too many
useless things, to fear
pardoning the ghosts...

this silence

This silence would be deafening
if you could hear it, still. 

It broke you years ago, when
you were seized with a fit
of wanting needing so violent
you dug your way out through
your own skin...

Safe enough


By 43, I think, in addition to knowing the right brassiere for any occasion, I should know how to say goodbye. I should be able to say goodbye with conviction, without looking back. At least, I feel like I should be able to do this. But I am always looking back, hoping for one last glimpse, one more wave. No wonder my neck and spine hurt all the time. I ache with goodbyes.

Not love (a sestina)

Yes, I would rather sleep alone than fight

and this is why I sleep alone. A drunk?

Not too late, my first last career. I write

already, my prerequisite word sea

dotted by empty green bottles. But sex.

You were saying? I liked it with you. Love--