Sweep, Sweep, Sweep
It's late afternoon. Whoever belongs here is gone. – Michael Chitwood
The last star of last night has been sold for a song,
and Mary, sister this time, sweeps ashes
of the dark side of a step; she sings
of twelve days, of three months, of last year,
and this time, when she smiles, she swears lilacs,
lilacs the length of an ocean, the length of a sail
blown out, it's ship capsizing, falling into air,
every lovesick sailor thrown to squall, every squall
thrown to sea, closing up, it's harbor master,
it's wayward apprentice, it's doctor of water,
Throw a little salt, a little kelp, a little beer.
Tell them that everyone goes home.
Tell them to pray, to whisper, to weep – to weep
like the first time, like the time before this feeling crept
up and took them like that squall, and threw
brother on brother onto what seemed like rock,
hydrogen and oxygen strong enough to break bone,
1st and 5th brother riddled with breaks,
and who knew their names then, a scrawl
in a cabin log, a log soaked in sea, ink broken
to its elements – humans compound and bloat,
and slip into the deep (blue, green, black, and gray),
night like a fan, blowing one tile of dark after the next,
over cloud, a cloud sold for daylight, another daylight
sold for a song. Sweep. Sweep. Sweep. Tell them
this time, when they call, to bring bread, bread enough
for a miracle, bread enough for a host of prayers.
Coal Black Night
Another star is born and lost
Someone's song is left in the crapper
sings and sings out a window
Gisella is still punch drunk
Manolo is still glazed over like a sailor
and Roberto gives himself up once again
to the rhythm of a crack in the street
Watch him fall like a leaf
and no sketch
What lands are not fingers and toes
but memory an old song on the street
an old tire on the road
no life, x's and numbers
They who once were here are none
and the only secret to tell is of madness
and the only madness left is gone
Everything is Not Equal
If I look over, it's because I'm looking out the window.—Rachel Eliza
slip rain through a banana field.
test the weight in your hand and drop.
trust the light green tinge.
take a dram or two after the heat breaks.
circle the ground circle.
plunge a spade in the soil and turn the soil loose.
Leave the ox. Leave it.
After the Accident
The same afternoon Sophie gave birth,
Joey had his tonsils removed.
She said it hurt like hell.
He said it hurt like hell.
Sophie said it's something
you never forget
(seven pounds of flesh
Joey, also looking,
said it's something
you never forget
(tonsils in a jar).
They both had ice cream after,
said "It's cold,"
lying in bed.