For All Things Promised

A new thing comes
from all things: what were
we before they gave us

Wherever we go, there
is conversion; I have
struggled to be what
you had hoped-

simple, free,

Torn from seclusion,
an oyster scraped and
eaten from its jagged shell

leaving only hollow
outlines of our missing
bodies; I have struggled

not to be what is
missing, but what is
touched and travels.

Afterward, the molecule
unwinds and passes on
its fiery promise.


Just Deep Enough

For love, in ways of planting: seeds,
gloves, a hole just deep enough
to coat the husked tight bodice.

A wary eye kept sleepless, trained
in science, schedules chronicled
and followed; the wakened sprout,

frail green, lengthened threads
a burden on its troubled lover.
Chance, devotion: walking through

a garden, purpled, pulling vines
laddered to a thoughtless sky whose
education- light, a bird, a weeping cloud

and nothing else.


A Different Kind of Debt

Those hours, formed
like rock, fasten
earth into its body;

violence is a spice
the taste of salt
and soil. I am, at last,

the separating wall,
hip from heart, lung
from blood, the sea route

from its buttressed
path. Landlocked miles
gather heat and fog like

memories of loss; while
water thrusts then rushes
back from shore.

These nights, I practice
flowing past the breaking
point; a wave whose arc

fixes on the waiting
darkness. There, dissolved,
extinct and silenced,

what moves, what strains,
what struggles

What Did You Expect?

Wait. Your body
is a tool for measure;
surely, now you know
the helpless are immune.

Once, I saw
my father's face
stranger than disjointed
bone, blue and swollen;

I am not as
useless as I seem.
Someone sees what
someone else is missing.

On a stretch of
beach, fragments of
a shell. I gather pieces
of a whole and glue them

into art, into memory
nearly reaching likeness
or an effigy of God; how
marginal the difference!