For Those Who Wish To Be, and Yet Are Not



Each month, I track the moon
As it fattens and then thins.
I remain, without symptoms,
Wanting to be waxing.
We try   we don’t try   I scroll
Calendar squares, vaginal fluid
Phantom sensations   Are my breasts rising balloons?
Tarot cards and
We wait   I wait
And an old dream
Of ten little fingers and ten little toes rock-a-bye
Byes. Each month, my heart
Climbs its high ladder …
Each moon results
In so much blood rushing
When I walk away.


O Car Wash

Car Wash

What luck! my bill slips
into the possibility of cleanliness.
The fingers of my attendant embed a traveled grime.
Blond mountain man (I imagine Him) between addresses or women.
His cigarette perpetual between his lipless lips
as he pressurizes a hose with his thumb
for dirty Sebring’s initial rinse.

Michigan February afternoon piles on us
misery, salt, freeze,
yet the promise of a car wash:
soon our wheels will roll smooth.

Bursts of spray loosen chunky slush-rot from the crevices.
Gray winter disappears beneath forceful showers as
blue sponges twist like a 1960s retrospective.
I know how Jackson Pollock’s canvas felt
this soap squirting against the windshield.

O spin puppet flappers in your gowns of brilliant purple.
Rain on me your liquid forgiveness
(he tells me how it used to be …
hit the pipe in the car wash,
crack pipe, burn brain burn

Forgiveness is this kind of washing away.
The whirring fire-vacuum peels us
from immersion into day.
We slowly move forward, sleek as a cougar made of chrome.

How gorgeous we are against this Michigan
February, though we’ll return
in a few days for another thrill of sponges.
Save another dollar for my blond Mountain man,
another turn up the drive and down again, another chance to get filthy and then clean.

While the Author Is Away

When last he wrote me
I was hanging off a cliff,
And now I’m still hanging.
Have been for God knows how long.
The tips of my fingers
Gripping whitely
To the crest of this craggy edge
As an ocean angrily tosses below.
My laced black boots swinging
While whitecaps dance as if boiled on a stove;
Oh, and that menace, my pursuer gnarling at me every now and then
Like a feral creature in single-minded pursuit.
His feet firmly planted on the ledge.
No language though, not without him who channels through.
How is it that I speak free?
I’ve always paid attention, every letter, each formulation
Of syllables left me not envious
Of his hot air blown through my rough draft,
I know who I am even though he doesn’t hear me out;
And then he up and quits me, in my crisis,
But like a spirit
Brought back by
The recitation of a charm,
His utterances unfold me, a puzzle piecing itself back together,
A rhythmic rendering, my anima auguries.
And even though he thought my plot shit,
Thus my current predicament,
Dangling above the riptide that will surely annihilate me should I slip
My clench on the rim as my antagonist towers, huffing gutturals,
But, wait! I can almost, URGH! almost
… catch the toe of my boot
On that … protruding root,