Instructions for Waking & Four More Poems

bring the cigarettes out, and drinks for you and Dan, left the Diet Cokes there, sweating on the ledge. Tonight you’ll allow me to stay for no other reason than to listen. You knew what I would become. But I can’t remember words now,

Lancing the Toe & Unbreakable

In the middle of surviving you, I sat on the sidewalk outside the bookshop that paid me too little, sterilized a safety pin with the flame of a lighter and stabbed it through my right big toe.

The Bees & Two More Poems

The surprise clusters of brown pears punctuate the leaves. My children burst down the pickers’ lane their feet smashing the rotten fruit into a fragrant mess, a prayer in earth. It is all too much.

Then and There

A rook snags a branch in the sycamore outside my bedroom window. That’s not what I’m thinking about.