I lay by my wife and felt her fingers,
and then all her bones together –
a skeletal, scary thought
with a cold wind blowing through it –
so I hastened to add the rest,
first the organs and then the
blood and tissues I couldn’t name,
and finally the skin and
mass of golden hair.
But even then she wasn’t herself,
so I started decking her out
with all her qualities, her smile and
her way of leaving things
and that twist when she dances.
And how she cooks, with her million recipes,
and curls up in the corner of the couch.
The further I went, the warmer she,
and the drowsier I,
got, and God it’s good
to sleep with her
and not with that bag of bones!
Reaching for a tissue, I found him
in the pocket of my coat.
I’d forgotten we’d prayed to him
and I’d do it again in these days
short on light and breath.
But I hadn’t done it,
and now he stood before me
on a platform of the station.
Angels go where men won’t go
They come when you’re not there
Pray quick today before they come
For distance makes a safer prayer
(the) untroubled younger siblings
playing hopscotch – not only
untroubled, but joyous –
and remembering (being older)
one who had died, one who
their older sister
and brother knew,
and recalling, too,
the once and still
vacant look in their mother’s eyes.
When I was five my father threw me in.
He said, You’ll know what to do.
But I didn’t and he jumped in.
And why is that like now?
What am I missing here in the air
You could draw a straight line
between the branch and the ground,
and a circle around the silence,
with the nut in the middle
(after the flitting, before the thud
Or could once have drawn,
for now the nut, uncapped, speaks no more.
It lies crushed in the soil
and the question it raised has pushed
the circle to the size of the world.
My own was the simple, Will it
hit my head? But its I missed.
I know it now as a silence too late.