I imagined her soul, slipping into muted sleep,
slowing its swirl, dimming its spectrum of colors -
until like a photo, darkening to monochrome,
she would become the very depth
and quiet of her own shadow.
Fire slowly dims,
coal blackens, into night.
Prisoners could enroll in college courses and some even taught. The people of Alabama often formed remarkable friendships with the prisoners and gave them many gifts, as well as invitations to their homes for a meal. After the war, many Germans brought their families to vacation in the South and to introduce them to their southern friends. These friendships lasted for decades.
The thing about a lake is the crazy
men who fish there, in the copper-
hearted flow where cold springs
and greasy seaweed gather.
Shimmer. Buckle. Fish bodies
writhe beneath, more life
always where one can’t reach.
More life always where watching
is not allowed.
They were not deer, such as the men had known in Virginia or
Vermont, but antelope whose haunches flashed when the heave
of portage brought the men too near. The men believed
they were something they needed to kill, not just for food
or for the pleasure of pursuit, but from a need to supplement,
And so, it seems it only takes one summer
without rain, a drift of weeks, the world
gone mean, to make a start then, offer age
assent. To give surprised consent, or to
at least – time bossy, brooking no dissent –
begin to know there is a change now
on its way. Not today. Not right away.
I dream each night our house is burning,
and I watch and watch. It consumes,
I am consumed, by the pit in my gut, burning rubble. Spiders watch from the corners,
with their wide shining eyes, but do not spin a line to save me-
Anyway, they form a scooby-doo-esque gang of lovable misfits
And solve the mystery of why I keep waking up unsure of who I am
And why its so hard to explain what that means
Entering your life from the outside can be a jarring experience
The yard you plotted then planted has come back
wilder, the way seeming winterkill comes back wilder
for its next life. So you think, pruning-time! — when,
with a looming shadow and a gust of backwash,
the ponderous bird alights, the porch rail trembles with its weight.
a man must lean on his liquor
getting through the prayer line
walking fields with all colors
flaring soft or fired with hard light
the walnut shell his face is
the tan smeared greasy eyes
a mature man out of time
Son of Esarg
the axe-thrower, smelting and pin-lining coasts
with bronze whirls, smoothed by Macha’s shawl.
Forger of tools, lately found half-sunk in peat
in a depthless bog, with his elbow crooked upward. The gases
preserved his jacket, the raised sinew
on his small finger, and the blazoned buckle he himself fashioned.
What if this belly
was where you buried your sorrows
nestled into disappointment
shame and fear.
What if this belly
like the time you refused
and pledge allegiance.
My mind won’t place me there,
not today, or tomorrow, or
those four days in December,
when the drive became a ritual
and in the evenings, after the nurses
said enough, it’s almost Christmas
go home, sleep in your beds, not
hunched over like a burlap bag
of coffee beans on a storeroom floor;