For my vacation last summer, I visited the Bateer family in Xiwuqi.
Certainly the ushers who pass the baskets know me as a miser.
It’s so delicate, the light. And there’s so little of it. The dark is huge.
I used bravado to protect myself when we lived in poverty.
We take our solace, in a time of malaise and mourning, in the close-at-hand.
“We’d be naive,” Crump went on, “not to assume that people are vile.”
The preacher looked me in the eye. He laid his hand on my chest.
You will be a broke blues man with only some story of how you were.
I wanted to ride this day down into night, to smooth the unreadable page.
He could hardly breathe; sweat was trickling down his face.
The presents you receive will not have been chosen with such care.
I sometimes forget I’m a horse. I’m also a man dressed as a horse.
My grandfather committed my grandmother to a mental asylum.
Frank kept his face blank as he read the orders: Report to Berlin.
Neither blood nor belonging accounted for my presence in Ghana.
Life, then, was song and purple font, imagining in words a future.
Lebanon’s dreams of a homeland were fading with every rocket launch.
Teach me how to turn a phrase like “yellow hair” from simple to rich.
We caress the rough. Sensuous, delectable, and yet sorrowful.
Passions played among the orchids and through cherish and reveal.
The hawk moves out of the way to let a little hot package of breath rise up.
I thought my body was mine until it a map anyone could use.
They went to pray for the dead. It was important to shed some tears.
Felicia knew why he was there. He was waiting. Waiting for her.
The survival of our world depends upon the cultivation of better language.
A Memory in Limbo
It could be plucked from anyone’s childhood, so achingly familiar are the sights and sounds of a grown-up party in this coming-of-age vignette.
Have two children to keep around the house in case one goes missing.
Tongue, eye, nose—which has the shortest route to the brain, heart?