Lacking an Orbit

Her chipped, colorful mug,

a trinket?


Like something

of yours, but somehow off.
Not cosmos. Roses –

The flowers here are all wrong.
Her mug of shrub roses opens
the scar of your excision
and conjures you.


Together, our trajectories aligned.
We shared an astronomy book.
We gathered fistfuls of cosmos
and tracked Hale-Bopp.

Our scrapwork physics?
Some twenty years of deadspace, vacuum.
The comet will return;
it alone abides.

I think I let you keep the book.
We watched the cosmos wither.
The comet loomed, then left.

(there is no us)

April 2016

Back to the Bone Pile

Image courtesy of Lynn Greyling.
Image courtesy of Lynn Greyling.

Little Wonder

Little wonder, you are badly gone.

I was in the kitchen,
ruining the oatmeal.
It bubbled blind beneath a milk caul –

And response?

Rancid cheese, fizzing in an unction of olive oil.
That tiny jar stunk up the whole house.
A cadaver smell, but not until hours later.
Hours after I deposited
your pliant body in the copse.
Milk. Cheese. Death.

I, too, exhale rot.


Seven years, seven painful springs.
It was one thing, repeated.


One thing:

A week before Easter, my sleek Doberman brought me a bunny
with velveteen ovals for ears and an eye cauled with vacancy.

Oh, little wonder, you were too soft!

Your head hung off the shovel
like a silly looker – but completely at peace?
Maybe you were.


Marvel and gawk!
I was spraddled in the dentist’s sloping chair,
opened wide for the scalpel.
He cut out the infection.
He drilled out the disease.
My numb head hung.
The soup of my own death-breath fizzed –
and the taste?
Jesus knows.
He ran his decayed tongue
over his teeth on the day he rose.


Rabbit, I am not rabbit enough

to out-rabbit you –

whose life was bright,
whose flight was wordless,
whose surrender, true,
who’s nonetheless less.

April 2016

Back to the Bone Pile

Conversation with a Friend Immured by Obscurity

Image courtesy of Tammy Sue.
Image courtesy of Tammy Sue.

Now vexed soul uncoils,
and taproot supplants wishbone.
Gargoyle! Be brazen in defeat.

Exalt this place of stone?

Exalt this place! For stone,
renounce your puny name.
Let go of hopes, those brutish
tongues that lap at fame.

A song of Theremin anguish
cries out –

– In false farewell,
for patience erodes angels
to lumps anon in parallel.

Breath grieves!

Graves are the sigil
of days, their bright since spent.
Make honey of your strife,
and secret your lament –

Anchorite, you are the truth of life!

March, 2016

Back to the Bone Pile