& the War Was in Its Infancy Then

By the time I looked over my shoulder, the sun had already fallen.

A Childhood

The horse had been beaten and flies crawled on the beat marks.

A Crow Flies Cleanly over the Cornstalks

The almanac tells them when the moon passes into ghost weather.

A Father’s Story

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

A Funky Assortment of Plates

The preacher looked me in the eye. He laid his hand on my chest.

A Life with Bears

I want to focus on bears. On knowing them, and on what they need.

A Place Like This

I can see on him how things are changing for and against us.

A Sailor

She did not leave him for the sailor. So why should he be angry?

A Serious Desert

All over the planet people try to end pain: striptease, bee stings.

A Trout in the Milk

How much simpler and more satisfying was the company of men.

A Wanderer

The tree was shaggy and it bore scars of shrapnel from the war.


On my way to the airport I hit a Christian. This was in Arkansas.

Across the Sea: A Sequence

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

Aeneas Leaves Kansas

All night the insects’ grinding jaws chewed through the darkness.

Affliction Parish and Other Poems

He tuned the future backward as he left the ringing water to reclaim me.

After Saddam

He said he had come back to the prison because it was home.

All Good Things Are Surprises

So, Ida, are you a Jew or a nudist? Do you believe in Hanukkah?

All Saints All Souls

This is the day when the saints all go silently to church in France.

All That Floats

Devanand Simon was twenty-five when the bodies fell from the sky.

Amanda Strayhorn, Reverend’s Wife

She countered the reverence of his efforts stroke by stroke, tit for tat.

American Idol

Karen was, in that moment, nothing, emptiness. She was oblivion.

American Paradoxes

I recoil from the certitude that religion can give a person; it’s horrific.

America’s First Female Muslim Judge Found Floating in a River

Many times I’ve stood at the lip of this river and wanted to crawl in.

And Yet Beauty Lives

We are like a village here, separated from the rest of the world.

Annunciation of the Self-Enclosed God

It’s another thing to have the beloved hesitate, silent, on the porch.

As Good as Could Be

I didn’t trust her. Relationships like ours aren’t built on trust.

Avoiding the Spirits

He is not a man, but an empty shell, a creature who laughs to stop the shame.

Axis of Happiness

I hadn’t always liked being around my mother while she was alive.

Babylon Sister

Ah, yes, Rita reminded herself: I won. Her Mistress of Mayhem award.


Am I here without me just as I was before when stars spoke.