You built a bomb inside my chest.
I let you build it, piece by piece; I welcomed it.
My heart had never beat so strong, so fast.

I never dreamed that once it was complete
you'd look into my eyes

And detonate.


My Midas

Someone gave you an eggshell once.
I watched you explore its gypsy surface,
and the puncture in its end.

In your hands it was precious
and lovely. I recognized that
touch. I knew it well.

I should have known that was the end.
Once touched, I could not heal you
of your great gift.


I gave you back your checkbook,
your little league champions! t-shirt,
& your bottle of Knob Creek;
I'd given it to you after six months,
but we'd been drinking it together.
I made sure you took your sheet music
from my Jeep; you'll need it to sing this Sunday.

You promised you'd pay me back
for the plane ticket to visit me,
& return my old read books.

But those books will always have
your notes in their sad margins.
And I will always know your phone number .

I hope you change it soon.


Climbing The Red Rock Of Sedona

everyone thinks I'm lost,
but I'm right here
appraising the anticipated cost
of living with no fear.

across this rapid little stream
is the warm, red, wrinkled flank
of a cranky mountain, and I dream
of dominating that from which I shrank.



There was a zookeeper who sang
The praises of lemon meringue.
But his pandas were used
To their bland bamboo shoots,
And ignored his impassioned harangue.


After Work

I saw lightning strike tonight.
The sky lit blue, the treeline

That Hospital Quiet

On this ward, not only beds
but halls are quiet. There's no
procedural bustle, no rolling beds,
no IV stands on wheels.
The hallways crawl, instead,
with empty bodies.

Some float along the ceiling
aimlessly. Others press flat against
the floor, as if longing to feel
the sweet deep earth beneath them.
Most bounce along the walls,
drawn toward TV and snacks.

We all wear the same red socks,
as tourists sometimes wear
bright hats on expeditions in
a strange city, so they can
recognize each other.

At night, when I wander, only
one remains, clinging with all
her spindly weight to the spinning
floor. The cross tattooed
beneath her ear twists with
her neck, resembling more
a lethal-looking dagger
than a symbol of salvation.

She bears it, all the same.