The Last Bite of the Emergency Apple

Silver Canyon, Santa Catalina Island

You take the last bite of the emergency apple,
while the teeth-y skulls of Barbary goats stare up from dusty shale,
from boulder strewn creek beds dry now in Indian summer swelter;
you tread unstable canyon avalanches that make new
valleys with now unfamiliar trails, while heat climbs out of the century,
beyond the untenable forecast. When you yawn and walk
ten paces to the shade, vaguely aware it’s not supposed to feel like this,
you recall unfathomable ponds from underground springs
were once enough to …

Stone Soup

The note sent home said
we are making stone
soup–soup of the poor–
soup from nothing–so
please do your part–bring
a stone–a carrot–
I sent three carrots–
a bag of …

Bilateral Bleed

cerebral aneurysm, coma, spinal
meningitis, cardiac arrest, amnesia,
hydrocephalus, paralysis, permanent
brain damage

My mistake was interrupting
his death with a white light
I didn’t fully comprehend.

I thought I was helping.

Corner Lot

The house where turns are made,
a brick two-story duplex. We lived upstairs.
In the front yard, an oak with one low hanging branch
where I’d swing by my arms …

Personal Jesus

I want to see your face, not just your words,
but I know I will be disappointed.
What kind of a face could you have
that would not disappoint?
I …

Annual trip to the village cemetery

Looking for your father’s grave,
we walk around
and read the names carved on crosses.

You recognize neighbors,
a cousin—
Old Neculai dead?
His son, too, at 50?

Weeds tangled,
fiery cosmos …