Nommo in September

There you exist in water.
Unending sketch and erase

of waves on the sea surface.
Today, you’ll be all the words

I wanted to say: look, they’re so
pretty in that second they

surface. You almost didn’t
see them. You didn’t see them.

Sinuous, so commitment’s
a strange shape to hold and take.

I loved the water of you, the snake of
you, everything amorphous and short-lived,

as I expected nothing to last of us.
But when the waves break I still call them by name.


Like a frame within a frame the fossil
carried a carcass, a carapace,

and its own casket in another casket,
its own natural sarcophagus.

I never told anyone this story:
in a summer like this I ate a nectarine

until its rough corduroy pit, continued
rolling and chewing it until it hinged

open, and an inert spider, sitting
in white wisp, was inside like a small jewel.

How does a thing feel real. The layers
comprising me are, reductively, soft

hard, soft, an easy sift to the truth
but the hard sell and swallow done anyway.


May I master love, undo its luster
do in the thing that makes us lust? 
May I speed through the body’s sinew 
to marrow? Or is toiling a part of 
the gaining of trust? May I pare and narrow 
your body down, and open it to my 
cupidity’s arrow? May I find my 
response to body’s unanswered call, 
(if the want leaves you wanting, at all)?

The One Mockingbird Only Sings at Night

Far cars, numerous.
Lullaby (by a lull)
and I pretend (I-10 as ocean).
And dream (DNA remade)
and dream. Maker
(remake me), better me
this time.

And wake
to a chorus of one
courting through
alarms, beeping,
trilling silver, song.
Mating call after call
(no answers, no takers).
And now it collects more
and further from nature.

Desperate thing (who is the pitied?),
what did you think would happen
(happiness). Was this your dream?
What you long for has long
left here (and what you left for—
not long for here). Because
you didn’t think it through
(you never do, do you, as you do).
Get a life (fail to).
Get a move on (been eons). Curse
I served (in vesper). Asker
(no answer). Prayer (no taker).
Little mocker (my broken maker).
What is taking you so long.

Oh aren’t you something (I wish I was).
Aren’t you someone’s (if I was)

I would not try someone else’s
song. How sad (they said). My heart
goes out to you (this long?). No I
won’t be long (that same song),
or someone’s song (oh but
my heart goes out to you).

Little mocker—
Broken Maker—
what will you make of me now.
(But I am of you).

Chorus or curse,
I am of you until
my heart goes out.