I can feel all the mites
teething at the wires

in my head. Busy little
feet collapsing bridges,

reinforcing the impossibility
of the future. Rubble kicks

around upstairs while we stare
wordless, motionless, at each other

in an already ragged memory.
The first brown birds of spring

coo something I wanted to tell you,
but the slow blank clouds

had already been pecked
of their meaning. I’m sorry.

I never told you how sorry
I am, how many times

I’ve relived this moment,
frozen in April, colors

fleeing as the words
disintegrate with the wind’s

last gasp. My calendar growls
every time I write the wrong year,

like the mites do, whenever
I try writing some other future.

My hands lose their glow,
my grip snaps the pen

and a deep blue blue smudges out
history, all the lines in my palm.


          Harmony Society. Economy, PA. 1905.

I can count the number
of times we touched
on two hands plus
two feet, plus your
hands and your feet.
We voted to ban sex
on the same day
as tobacco. Some logic
says asexual Adam never
tasted his poisonous
fleshy nature until God
ripped the vagina out
from his ribs. Our bodies
just make dust now
when they touch.
Your old lips hover
just off your face.
My old eyes groan.
I can count the number
of times we touched
on my hands but
mostly on our feet
under the table at supper—
one kick for yes, two
kicks for no, three
hundred kicks for
I love you will you
meet me out where
the dogwood quake
under the yellow
aspen glow?


When will it be then? When
will the old skin finally flake
free, expose the ripe peach
of each shoulder’s blade, fresh

pink flesh ready for wings
to emerge from the wounds
like blind worms gulping for life
through mud after heavy rain?

When will the stars wear out?
The heavens unhemmed, the earth
moans as we all walk outside
to find the shape of the sky

is finally telling us exactly
what to do. Will I know it’s time?
What will it look like when the new
age stares me in the face? My lips

tired, eyes stale, me a remnant
of the now that’s best forgotten.
Will you wait for me, if I totter
behind, like I always do?

Hesitating at the rope bridge
as it sways and sways. The gap
below barking, the great dawn
ahead still hasn’t risen, and I

am afraid, I am so afraid, I won’t
be paying attention when it comes.