If to Say It Once
If to say it once
And once only, then still
To say: Yes.
Say it as if the word
Filled the whole moment
With its absolute saying.
Later for “if.”
Only the single syllable
That is the beloved,
That is the world.
The Dangerous Shirt
The shirt in my closet is dangerous.
If I put it on, I will be dressed.
The door and not the couch.
And if I open the door, I will go through it.
I will go through it and close it behind me.
Always, every moment, it is so obvious.
It Is Pretty Cold
is what Whitman writes in his journal
when he describes the hospitals.
It is pretty cold.
it is pretty cold, but there’s always colder.
But it might mean: they are freezing
and no one in the world can help them,
or the next loads are up from Aquia Creek.
The Treeless Hill
The treeless hill that gave holes
in its dirt cliff to the swallows
in the long wet light of June, the open
cliff by the road that gave
them nests, your cold wet sweater,
sweater you were born in, softer then,
like any swallow
He rummages for stones
at the pond’s edge, low in December.
I huddle them on your flat gravestone.
a memory sharpens, as if illuminated.
I sit on the counter, next to the sink.
You stand, shift your weight,
tell me about your sickness.
Not like a twelve-year-old, but like a mother.
does not hurry the introduction.