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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 Day at the Beach for Aphrodite

I was enraged at being alone on the outside of all that love and lust.

A Final Conversation

I used bravado to protect myself when we lived in poverty.

A Fragmented Diary in a Fragmented Time

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

A Funky Assortment of Plates

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

A Good Woman Blues

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

A Human History in the Wilderness

My grandfather committed my grandmother to a mental asylum.

A Husband and Father

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

A Journey along the Atlantic Slave Route

Neither blood nor belonging accounted for my presence in Ghana.

A Kind of Thinking and Other Poems

Life, then, was song and purple font, imagining in words a future.

A Letter to Robert Pinsky

We caress the rough. Sensuous, delectable, and yet sorrowful.

A Lot Going On Up There

The hawk moves out of the way to let a little hot package of breath rise up.

A Map to Now

I thought my body was mine until it a map anyone could use.

A Matter of Appeal

Felicia knew why he was there. He was waiting. Waiting for her.

A Place Like This

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

A Shrine at the Inn

It was true. We would probably never visit that place again.

A Small Blip on an Eternal Timeline

I grabbed him by the face and told him life only comes to a person once.

A Small Hotel

The allure of Mardi Gras is to feel this way: unseen and unseeable.

A Soldier’s Lover

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

A Storyteller’s Story

Americans have always a kind of tenderness for cheat.

A Summer in Between

In a way she enjoyed the slow, sad feeling of letting it go.

A Trout in the Milk

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

A. Roolette? A. Roolette?

She remembers that golden ocean, the promise of a whole new land.

A. Roolette? A. Roolette?

She remembers that golden ocean, the promise of a whole new land.

Accumulation

When he was a child, my father had a cousin who was buried by a plow.

Across the Sea: A Sequence

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

Adolescence

I’ll see you on the sea, they say, but then they float past on a raft

Adventures of a Would-Be Filmmaker

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

After Closing Up My Mother’s House and Other Poems

What if my mother could have been happy if I hadn’t been born?

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