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, a racing stripe for our speedy remodeling.

The well water turned brown when it rained; Mom made koolaid
in fruit punch or grape to quell our suspicion. Twenty years later,

when we finally moved, the well was condemned, declared unfit
for human consumption
, and that was the punch line

to the World’s Funniest Joke; we laughed for days. And still,
I …

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 …

PARKED, TEXAS

Yes—alone, I could stop for anything.
Fossil bed at a river’s wrist. Hello

aoudad on Blue Mountain, javelina
gnawing cactus. Stinky the cat hiding

in a closet. Every bee takes an …