Landlocked

The air above this man-made
reservoir turns violent
pink each afternoon. This is a tune

on a guitar I can barely
play. I’ve built
a forest of grief and you

aren’t allowed in.
Fifteen miles from my childhood

home, water still waits
in Osage Pond. Carrots grow
in the garden my mother

abandoned, even beyond
the fence, but the penny-sized frogs
have disappeared. My mind

reaches into my father’s
coffin and finds just silence. I’m sure
that owl on …

More In: Poetry

Carolina clay

Our house leaned and pitched in strong winds. The tin roof
a watering can for black snakes wintering in the attic;

the kitchen ceiling had one-tile-in-from-the-wall painted
for ten years, …

The Marine

Sundays my father made us chorizo
we still begged to skip church
four bad kids in line for communion,
recanting silence
seeing the backs of our neighbors, the lint on …

Aubade, with Two Deer

Soon I’ll need assurances, a shower, coffee, pills.
In the fuzz of dawn, I’m a bell
and time’s the clapper, rung until
one state of being over-rings another—

so soon, so …

WHEN I WROTE ABOUT THE BEE IN THE BEGONIA

I wrote, day after day, about the bee
in the begonia – bees, I should say, though it was only
one at a time, amid the many blossoms.
I took …

Canyon Road

Driving on black ice—
I braked too hard,
spun into a 360

and then two more.
Like a boom of a sailboat,
the back of the car

slammed a dog.
In …