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Poems from Calendars of Fire


With birds on his shoulders

He becomes the mind that will enact it
the wound traveling in a widening orbit
the will to keep silent that needs to speak

The future arrives—not in the motifs
of songbirds but in the falling off
from notes to intervals

Violation rises like a planet
its own sound something quiet
like sliding bodies into water


from The voice is the last we forget to remember

The three of them, three trees among the trees,
the light pale white, defaulted.

If I thought that this was easy, to wrap her arm around
a tree and tilt her head against it,

to dress in her skirt and sweater,
and they their three-piece suits,

to be lithe and beautiful and young,
strolling for pleasure in the park,

urbane, nonchalant, and lean against
three tree trunks in the midst of trees,

the air already faltering, the wind's petition,
I had not heard the ones who whisper yet

A child is running through the trees
Someone will give their life for him

Run, child, run
Someone is running after


Tiresias turns

It was a casual blow, no more than muscular self-expression
because he marveled at the twining snakes and itched to do something
Then air licked him raw all over with its sandpapery tongue
Every pore became the gateway to the citadel of body
as if bees were rushing him, running him dizzy in circles
until he fell to the soft woods floor, folding inward to the cavern
that expelled him, and there she floated for time out of time
fattening, cupping her breasts and stroking them with her thumbs


Poems from Walking Backwards

Poems from A Darker, Sweeter String