Memory in retrograde

I remember:
muffling blankets of rain, shrinking the world
to the inside of the car,
to the memory,
to the cave of bedsheets that was sanctuary,
to New York where I didn’t want you,
and then I didn’t want to without you,
to the night in the field
with champagne and light rain.

Then the world shrinking to only me
and dim flashes of possibility.



Sisyphus crushed

Perhaps by some shift of gravel
unforeseen by eternity.

Perhaps by a slip of the body
numbed by the push of countless yesterdays
and that what is now must be.

Who knows what grain of chance
finally broke Olympian will.

In the last moments,
shoulder against stone,
the absurd judgement echoed in this head,
falsely easing the inevitable heft.

Then just the newly silent hillside,
the stone,
and Sisyphus dead.

Walking on softer ground

Tell us,
where do we find you
if not at the horizon,
pushing the sky back so others can breathe?

Why not?

How heavy can your name be,
how heavy the gavel, the eyes on you?
Is it the kind of weight
that ruptures through the skin,
tearing lips and branding bones?

What’s the measure of your worry?
Does it span from streetlight to streetlight
on unsafe side streets, where your body is yours
but still you need to hurry?

Does it taste like the sand
they force you to die kissing
at their feet?

We seek you.
Understand the urgency.

So where    do   we find you?

On the way home,
safely at the brim of quarter century,
asking if you’ve built on what was given
and if the kiss was arbitrary.


Just today I said:
no more you poetry,
no more us poetry,
no more what was poetry.
It was going well,
still is, and will be,
but some of my dust
is bound to stay with me.

I’d opened the box,
with the cards you sent,
or just handed to me
after you had given up
on sending
or just on me.
(But even that’s not fair.
You never did,
did you, really?)

Or at least not until
there was more of the memory of me
than there was of me.
Then it wasn’t as much giving up,
as letting things clear,
making space for the sofa
the table, the crockery.
For the shape of a home,
a different mind,
a different body.

And speaking of memory:
I also said something
about no more you,
no more me.
Less about fading away,
than ceasing to be,
entirely, the people we used to be.

Now there’s just the box of cards
you sent, or gave to me,
and some other things,
that stubbornly report
how things once were
between those who have ceased,
and keep ceasing, to be.

Fragments V.

The girls’ skirt flicks back
slightly with each step,
And I guess it’s summer.

Graduate Haiku
September steps back
to the ranks of other months.
A student no more.

Someone else’s memory
She lit a cigarette
That’s the last we ever met
And the flames are gonna get
The flames are gonna get
The flames are gonna get you