Wednesday, February 28, 2007


Of silverware, you are the pacifist,
never stabbing, never slicing,

content in fact to simply scoop.
Your curves, unashamed,

slip silently between the lips
of all who pick you up, and yet

you are never called a whore;
one repentant cycle through

the dishwasher,and you are pure
again, and ready for the hiding

place, the drawer full of brothers,
sisters, ornate and shiny-slick.

Thursday, February 22, 2007


the body knows the way up
the side, but I do not. there
is fear, the groping search

for granite holds, little ledges
I can't see, the feel of my slick
shoes slipping, pebble rain

descending on the two holding
my harness steady. there
is panic and remorse. but

the body knows this
is coming; it dissolves
fear with long shots

of adrenaline that turns
burning muscles into
steel. this alchemy,

the last push, a deep
breath, and the summit
of it all, the view above

the trees, and the safe
slow drop, descent to earth,
back among friends and firm dirt.

Friday, February 16, 2007


Beyond the wire hanger curtain of her closetful of clothes, beyond stacks of old and out-of-season shoes, beyond a hidden stash of letters from two boyfriends ago, beyond that imperfect blend of order and dissonance she felt the slick cool of white house paint with the palm of her hand. She pushed and pushed and wondered if it might, someday, give way, not to the next room, but to the inevitable reality that seemed to sleep between the walls of that house: she was beautiful, obedient, well-kempt, and the oldest unmarried woman in three counties.
Later, they would find her there, legs splayed awkwardly to reveal control-top hose in ivory nude, eyes pushed back into shadow by painkillers, hair more disheveled than anyone had ever seen in, beneath not one but a hundred or more small, greasy handprints, gray impressions of varying intensity that seemed only to beg to be let out.

Monday, February 5, 2007


Let x equal the number of gold
dashes on the highway between me
and your Humboldt dormitory,
between my Complete Works
of Shakespeare and your Periodic Table,
between art and science. Divide
by eighty-seven miles per hour,
the fastest my little black truck can fly
before disintegrating into a shameless mass
of carburetor and fender and slick
upholstery. Add three hours
for the necessary adieu to boyfriend
and roommate, for calling in sick, for washing
the dishes and feeding the cat. Raise that
to the power of your audible tears,
the cracking phone line, my sisterly pain
when you say you have no one
to talk to and then choke on the very truth
of it. The solution, the time until you
can be crying on my shoulder,
the inevitable y, is always less
than the number of minutes before you
no longer need me. Thus, we know that despite
the times you pulled my hair and called
me fat and wished you were an only
child, I love you, quod erat demonstrandum.