Red Nails

Painted this morning, I
began to wonder

whose back can I scratch
and when I do

will this aid my quest to
take the world

and turn it into a place
I, too, can own?

Create for me such a role;
I will hold the

pen between my fingers and
sign my name!


Summer Sound

The new sound came
from somewhere
(I don’t know where)
unmarked, like a letter
with no sender address
just as smooth-edged
as you might picture
and was welcomed
even I say ushered in;
a melodic relief it was
fingered and opened
allowed to unroll itself.
Afterward breath felt
less grim than before,
new skin formed and
could hold more of it,
like how you might feel
if prayers were heard,
finally, after all that time
hoping on your knees.


La Nouveauté

For something new
for an Eastern sound
for a tree that holds its leaves
for my body to conquer its swelling belly

For my mind to conquer itself
for my hands to find new notes
for flowers of unrecognizable fragrance
unfolding before me in a meadow unexpected

For a byway, for a conversation,
for a person I also did not expect
for time to go backwards, or
for it to leap to this day next year and there we are

For animals to speak and
for ghosts to appear and to
finally catch spirits moving objects, or just
for one full day of names I have never said aloud

For those names to not recognize me
for anonymously wandering a grocery store
for lack of how have you beens and instead
new names attached to canvasses who I have not met

(June 13, 2019)


Another Fine Day

I dreamed of horses again,
my mare and her baby
and I, combing out her
chestnut forelock as she
lifted her head and the
wind caught her mane
in a way I thought (in my
dream) how beautiful.

When I awoke I counted
how old she would be if
the riding accident had not
happened. I still see an
animal with a large hole
in its side, letting me lead
her by leather bridle away
from pavement to grass
where we shot her, many
people gathered around.

I am seated on the back of an
ambulance when comes the
shot. Afterward, I kneel at
her shoulder not far from
the foot-wide gaping hole
from where intestines had
spilled ten hands in length
onto the pavement after I
rode into a pole sticking
three feet above ground.

That type of mourning,
it does not matter who sees;
they should, as a form of
penance. We removed her
English tack and men took
her away on a truck bed.
Born St. Patrick’s Day, she
would be twenty-six now.