Three indulgences (in which we are all gods)



there’s a super-8 somewhere
of your great-grandfather lit in copper:

wild-horse nervy
hands full of earth
heavy as a field

an old man holding a small boy
the way old men hold small boys:



like a thought birthed fully formed
from the temple of his head

like the only thing he knows
will get him through




bringer of salt gospel
and song of war on shaking hands

somedays i think if i could
have him hold you up like that
and know that you’d remember
i’d swallow this here sea


these hands so full of hymnal books
are hands i got from him

who stacked a shed with quicksilver
and saltpetre to blow this all to sky

never seen those fingers any less
than perfect scarred and holy

never in my lifetime
saw them break a thing

Falling Back- after Cai Guo-Qiang


how light the heart beneath a fallen tree,
how tightly clutched the stone,
how still around a lake (no swimming)
ringed with hand swept sand (keep off)
and bent and lapping beasts (don’t stroke)
and an aching bridge of wolves
all faux faux fur
and snarl
and leap
and crash
and turn
and leap again

and how,
when you asked me how my year had been,
were language more precise,
I would have rent the sky with powder burns
and said exactly what I meant.