If I hadn’t asked

If I hadn’t asked who you were having dinner with that night

I wouldn’t be crazy lost now and you wouldn’t have moved to

Connecticut with an eyebrowed cooking woman: something I would

never be.

If I hadn’t asked if you liked sleeping alone maybe

we would have grown accustomed to each other sighing

into our dreams, a hip teaspooned into a hip, yours so much

fuller than mine, sailing on into the night, no navigational devices needed.

Bacon for breakfast.

If I hadn’t read her emails maybe I could have forgotten the alert messages

coming almost daily into my cerebral cortex. Messages telling me the ice was

thin though it was late summer.

If I hadn’t asked why you were leaving maybe I would still believe you

did love me though now I see all I need to do is be silent and I’ll

never learn that.

To be published in the Cape Rock

I’ve Found Her Lost Again in Me

Published just now in The Round: the literary journal of Brown University


In the dusky, damp hour of summer when wine

is poured and in the distance neighbors

bicker over their barbecue, the husband saying

it’s not his job to clean it and clattering

the domed lid over

five pounds of grade A beef.

The wisteria, desperately holding itself open

to possibility, and the dogs roam barking, their

tongues sloppy with grass. The birds, repeaters,

warble from tree to tree, trying to vary their story,

back and forth, back and forth, so bored with each other.

In the yard a pool filled with azure water, an aquarium of

tears, piss, semen, a pure rectangle, a holding pond of life,

there, lying on the surface, on the great,

pink, plasticized, inflatable swan floating unguarded,

there’s a girl. She could be 19 or 70. She’s listening to

the opera of summer, writing a bird libretto, her fingers

holding the minute hand on the clock of time, suspended

by the undercurrent of oboe, she knows she’s different.

She feels every rhythm.