Ekphrastifilia

Your little elbow
nudges the air

as the raindrops
line up and wait

to fall. I forget
who I was before

our windows floated
away revealing

our drawn-over
selves. Your shadow

kites above us
and whatever we say

forever hovers.
A tornado touches

gently down, black
lightning ignites

a butterfly’s skull.
Your fingers grip

the triggers of long
stemmed flowers

beneath the sky’s
television of rain

broadcasting two
smiling clouds.

Are they us? I ask.
They’re just clouds,

you say, then cut
yourself out.

In Whoever's Hotel Room This Is

If it were up to me,
the bible would begin:

A man steps into a field...
I'd forgotten what was in

the background when you took 
the photo of me I wouldn't 

see until later. When I did, 
it was just a wall, and my smile 

was a mouthful of rocks.
A little after it was clicked off 

the T.V. screen's light
condensed down a drain.
 
Even when the television 
had become an aquarium 

full of black water
that last bright dot 

burned in my eye.
On the back of my photo

you wrote, This isn't you,
and you were right,

it no longer was.

Chekhov's Gun

Nothing ever absolutely has to happen. The gun 
doesn't have to be fired. When our hero sits 

on the edge of his bed contemplating the pistol 
on his nightstand, you have to believe he might 

not use it. Then the theatre is sunk in blackness.
The audience is a log waiting to be split open. The faint 

scuff of feet. Objects are picked up, shuffled away. 
Other things are put down. Based on the hushed sounds 

you guess: a bed, some walls, a dresser. You feel 
everything shift. You sense yourself being picked up, 

set down. A cone of light cracks overhead. The audience's 
eyes flicker toward you like droplets of water.

Elegy in X Parts [My foreshadow stretches]

X.

My foreshadow stretches
out in front of me.

We stand on the soles
of each other's feet.

I am a field
and there's a man

standing in the middle
of me saying,

God is the sky pinning
me to my body.

I am a man
and there is a field 

under me saying, 
A dead man makes

love to the earth
by just lying there.

Related Poems

Thunderstorm Stack

A bird flashed by as if mistaken then it
starts.  We do not think speed of life. 
We do not think why hate Jezebel?  We
think who’s that throwing trees against
the house?  Jezebel was a  Phoenician.
Phoenician thunderstorms are dry and
frightening, they arrive one inside the
other as torqued ellipses.

Centering the House

All night Kansas
the lungs of the continent
takes a sip of the galaxy

swirling stars and barbed wire
sofabeds and willows
books and doors banging open 

signs disappear whole towns
ditch themselves in the countryside
I stir the coffee to center the house

the place our mothers and fathers
and theirs and theirs passed through
their aprons strung on telephone wires

this tunnel of wind this trial        
makes trees throw back their heads                                               
and hair on our arms stand up        

we’re nothing but breath on its way through the woods

Daughter

Let us take the river
path near Fall Hill.

There we will negotiate
an outcrop with its silvered
initials & other bits of graffiti,

all the way to the broken edge
that overlooks the bend,
& hold hands until

we can no longer tell
where the river ends.