A Country Doctor

A gravely ill man was waiting for me in a village ten miles distant.

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 Numbers Game

We are in his car. “Bell, I’m starving. Want to go for a burger or pizza?” I panic. Pizza. 285 calories per slice. Burgers. Harder to estimate.

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 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 Storyteller’s Story

Americans have always a kind of tenderness for cheat.

A Walkabout in Andrew Wyeth’s Painting and Other Poems

My bike, my skinny body, my pent breath was thrown to the grass.

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.


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

Affliction Parish and Other Poems

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

After Music

“I’m torturing you,” she said. “It isn’t fair.” Now I saw there were tears.

Again, the Body

They taught us do not touch it, but who can keep from touching it?

All My Friends Are Sad & Bright

We’ve seen the news. We know the story. How even our bodies hurt us.

All Saints’ Eve

Why did it take Steven’s small coffin to get me to see my own son?

All the Girls Are Fat in Heaven

When you are sixteen and sixty-five pounds, you are all shadows.


He longed only for Claire’s strange seriousness, her silent focus.

American Idol

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

An Injury to One

You are afraid pain itself might develop a way to communicate.

An Instance of Love

We have harvested nothing more than the stench of middle age.


I tell him: junkies are the only people worth talking to about love.

Are We Not Men?

The girl marched directly up to me, glaring, and said, “You hit my dog.”

Ars Poetica as Phrenology

When push comes to shove, I can get downright Aeolian on you, son.

Arthur Arellano

The pillow into which her face was turned muffled her voice.

As Good as Could Be

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

At Sea

I only feel that here, only here, in this one place, a small rise.

B.F. and Me

Tobacco and dirty wool, rank alcoholic sweat. I liked him right away.