The Monkey’s Face
and Other Poems

The Monkey’s Face

Year after year, / on the monkey’s face: / A monkey’s face.

The face of yellow is yellow.

The face of the moon is for Rhinelander, Wisconsin.

The faces of boys laughing by the lake are perfect.

The dogs eyed us disinterestedly as we snuck back at daybreak.

Each freckle on the face of Patrick. For what I never said, I’m sorry.

The face of winter. No one is always good.

Her face when she was so angry I thought she might leave.

Her face when she left.

The face of a fish. You make it once more in the mirror.

The face of the past is tiny with an enormous mouth.

The mouth of the past is enormous with many teeth.

The tongue of the past is dry and pale like a cheese.

At the bar, I am asking with every inch of my body and my face also.

I want nothing more than to be used.

My face is not a sunflower (the face of not yellow is not yellow).

I have a simple face that fills an attic window.

How much of everything to me seems to be its face.

How much the face of things is the world until it isn’t.

The human face, for instance, which takes seven weeks to form.

Or the lying face that wanders altogether in one direction, as if searching for another head on which to plant itself.

My nephews running in the park are gold pieces I find in a cold stream.

The face of my father in old pictures makes me feel he is gone already.

Makes me feel he is already gone and that it is bearable.

The faces of Sarah and Jesse when they are together are a small house in Texas with candles on its porch.

The face of the sun and four geese crossing its diameter.

The face of love is a poem I am writing in an air-conditioned room.

The face in the bed was smiling.

The face in the bed was smiling despite.

The faces of the dead are like my face.

My face is a single undisturbed stone circle.

I want to be used.

I want to be made.


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