Piano keys are bone. This is how the dead sing.
Something's coming, the birds are starting up again.
On the steps under the pine the rain fingers our socked feet.
I want wine, smoke in my mouth, a cheeky response.
The girl fills her sleeves with rubber frogs.
"I wasn't smiling at you, mom. I was smiling because I was happy."
Thanks for never reading my diary, for giving me that space
for secrets. I trust too much and never lose anything.
The amber ring buried two years in a garden glove.
Sun caught 90 million years in a wing.
Trying not to watch you while you play. Not to take too many pictures.
The light afghan stitches out. Somewhere, a chained brightening.
"Anything is possible" you told me. That's all
the religion I needed. To love the world so much
I can no longer visit the zoo. Pink snouts petalling out.
Palms pressed to the window.
To air a bed. To care for garbage-cans. To open fruit jars.
There's a rule for everything.
For the pale stone it all comes down to background.
Skull darkening the rain. Queer smile of the jaw.
My daughter draws a line through the letters of her name.
The difference between crossing out and connecting.
Two snowmen and three sticks.
Two snowmen holding hands.
Timing snow, a slowdance in streetlight.
Prove that water is not listening.
Places the deer hide in rain. Willow's mammalian bloom.
Atom built in snow's bone light. Synapse webbed in the grass.
Home-made fly traps. Syrup-ripple wing.
The slow-motion dying.
To bare face
in the silhouette hills.
When the fat birds love
the world close to the ground.
The way fur gives up bone, sockets
formed in their final seeing.
Antler buds, roman candles, the pearled
I share a cigarette with you, blow a moon
through your eye. Smoke branches
the corners of my mouth, and the tongue,
the tongue is climbing.
As I meet you I am closing in on it,
the love that will walk us to the end.
And there you are with trees breathing,
a shoe in your hand. Going somewhere?
You knew and you were touching it.
The chance of a dust mote catching this light.
Or not. I'm too sentimental for this. Juice glasses,
forks, china flourishes.
Underwater angels serving teacups of air.
Clear feather bone.
Skirt-twirl of the glassed-in light. Porch dust float,
empty aquarium, feathery finned
ghosts of kissing-fish, tetras, dime-waisted
angels. A pinch of milk testing the wrist,
a nest of blood testing her tongue. Dreaming
a green woolen coat, a pocket of
cut hair. Silence
Her feet growing beyond my hand.
Even fields have their narrowings.
Our daughter asks why things are dirty and why dirty things die.
She wants a flapper, the things you flap flies with.
Canvas door partings of fur, amber rooms, ancient
light. Fur that has just shook out its water,
the thought of each drop
falling into place.
I have not many stars
but these crosses are coming close.
White paint cracks, the walls hatch from wallness.
Blackflies in the ruby water. The joyous dead afloat.