The Blight

What’ s there to say? We didn’ t care for him much,
and you can’ t exactly commiserate
with someone you don’ t just not love
but almost (admit it) hate.
So the news just hung over us
like the dud summer weather we’ d had —
rain since June, the lawn sodden,
garden a bog, all slugs, late blight so bad
our sickened Beefsteak vines, our Sweet One Hundreds,
San Marzanos, the lot,
yellowed half black before the fruit had set,
which, when it did, began to bloat and rot
before it ripened — but like I say

The Summer Bower

It is a place whither I’ ve often gone
For peace, and found it, secret, hushed, and cool,
A beautiful recess in neighboring woods.
Trees of the soberest hues, thick-leaved and tall,
Arch it o’ erhead and column it around,
Framing a covert, natural and wild,
Domelike and dim; though nowhere so enclosed
But that the gentlest breezes reach the spot
Unwearied and unweakened. Sound is here
A transient and unfrequent visitor;
Yet if the day be calm, not often then,
Whilst the high pines in one another’ s arms

Anonymous Lyric

It was the summer of 1976 when I saw the moon fall down.

It broke like a hen’ s egg on the sidewalk.

The garden roiled with weeds, hummed with gnats who settled clouds on my

oblivious siblings.

A great hunger insatiate to find / A dulcet ill, an evil sweetness blind.

A gush of yolk and then darker.

Somewhere a streetlamp disclosed the insides of a Chevy Impala — vinyl seats, the rear- view,

headrests and you, your hand through your hair.

An indistinguishable burning, failing bliss.

Spring A. D.

Again with spring
she wore light colours
and with gentle steps
again with spring
again in summer
she was smiling.

Among fresh blossoms
breast naked to the veins
beyond the dry night
beyond the white old men
debating quietly
whether it would be better
to give up the keys
or to pull the rope
and hang from the noose
to leave empty bodies
there where souls couldn’ t endure
there where the mind couldn’ t catch up
and knees buckled.

Photo of a Girl on a Beach

Once when I was harmless
and didn’ t know any better,

a mirror to the front of me
and an ocean behind,

I lay wedged in the middle of daylight,
paper-doll thin, dreaming,

then I vanished. I gave the day a fingerprint,
then forgot.

I sat naked on a towel
on a hot June Monday.

The sun etched the inside of my eyelids,
while a boy dozed at my side.

The smell of all oceans was around us —
steamy salt, shell, and sweat,

but I reached for the distant one.
A tide rose while I slept,

Still Life

We’ d often
been included in

the weather, whose
changes (as in the

still, portending
darknesses of after

noon) were hardly
evident, if even

manifest at all.
The August rain

over Mixcoac
& the deadening

of all aspect
at a distance:

yet our sudden
wet bodies, firm

swelling divested
finally of shirts

& trousers, left
beside turbid

footprints on
the tiled floor;

this tongue, these
lips the lightning