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& Darkness Moves In

The dead cowards my parents on a tear through the goddamn fields.

A Blessing

We watched our father chuck her boom box out the bedroom window.

A Childhood in Four Acts

End of October, days recede quickly into night. Leaves fall in slow motion.

A Dangerous Creature

The dog glares back at Roger, his eyes on fire, but he doesn’t let her go.

A Dark Place

There was no sense in brushing off or any other civilized thing.

A Different Ending

The peanut seller tore sheets out of paperback books to make the cones.

A Dream of Ease

I shoved them one by one, easy as pie yet with care, just shy of mercy.

A Father’s Story

Certainly the ushers who pass the baskets know me as a miser.

A Fragmented Diary in a Fragmented Time

We take our solace, in a time of malaise and mourning, in the close-at-hand.

A Good Woman Blues

You will be a broke blues man with only some story of how you were.

A Husband and Father

Frank kept his face blank as he read the orders: Report to Berlin.

A Personal Statement

“I’d like to talk to C about her personal statement,” Blattman said.

A Quiet Patchwork of Slats

Streetlights throw the blinds against the ceiling. It’s 7:00 p.m.

A Saint from Texas

So that’s what I’d look like if every beauty parlor in the world shut down.

A Soldier’s Lover

We never really had what might be considered a normal conversation.

A Soliloquy Would Imply That the Stage Is Empty

A father peeled the night / from another midnight & begged / me to lie

A Son of Baghdad

For me, Selweh was the real magic. She was nothing like my mother.

A Spinster’s Tale

When he had passed from view, I stumbled back from the window.

A Sport and a Pastime

She is complaisant with all her clothes off. She moves to his touch.

Accompaniment

We are going south where I know that my father is going to die.

Across the Sea: A Sequence

The stones here carry the island’s low cry inside them. A landlocked grief.

Addendum and Other Poems

The animals are dying. All the beautiful women are dying too.

Adventures of a Would-Be Filmmaker

Since I am in my seventies, it is now or never, and I know it.

Africa

If he’d had that seat belt on, he would have been pinned inside.

All Good Here

Since his mother’s fall, Ali had been stopping by every week to help out.

All the Trimmings

The old man drinks some more liquor and whacks down two trees.

Amazed

My father made me watch softball on ESPN 2 to help me stay alive.

Ampersand

In carved hearts—the artery, link that links but won’t spell it out.

An Experiment

Even before bills and rent and adultery—you don’t sleep well.

Anchor and Knife

The first time I met you I fought your father in the driveway.