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.
And to whom shall I say that,
for forgiveness, for alarm?

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 …

The Drunk

The wind is sharpening its knives
on my father come in the dark
toward home, half wreckage,
half-bear in Christ’s cold garden.
His tongue is quit, tied,
flat: the journey …