the moon might rise and it might not and if it brings a ghost light we will read beneath it and if it returns to earth we will listen for its phrases and if I'm alone at the bedside table I will have a ghost book to refer to and when I lie back I'll see its imprint beneath my blood-red lids: not lettered ink but the clean page not sugar but the empty bowl not flowers but the dirt * blame the egg blame the fractured stones at the bottom of the mind blame his darkblue glare and craggy mug the bulky king of trudge and stein how I love a masculine in my parlor his grizzly shout and weight one hundred drums in this everywhere of blunt and soft sinking I am the heavy hollow snared the days are spring the days are summer the days are nothing and not dead yet * worry the river over its banks the train into flames worry the black rain into the city the troops into times square worry the windows cracked acidblack and the children feverblistered worry never another summer never again to live here gentle with the other inhabitants then leave too quickly leave the pills and band-aids the bathroom scale the Christmas lights the dog go walking on our legs dense and bare and useless worry our throats and lungs into taking the air leave books on the shelves leave keys dustpan telephones don't work where you were in the chaos * and I couldn't bear it the children nearing the place where the waves wet the shore vaporous force rising imperceptibly behind we were talking about circumstance horizon-gates swinging open beneath the cherry blooms wave rising in the background impalpable and final a girl in a white dress barefoot wasn't I right to ask her to move in from the shore * this is the last usable hour bird lured through the window a little sweet fruit I could die here and the hearsedriver would take me out of this city I'd say my name to him as we crossed the Triboro I'd say it softly the way he likes it it would be the last time I'd introduce myself that way
from The Uses of the Body
Before you have kids,
you get a dog.
Then when you get a baby,
you wait for the dog to die.
When the dog dies,
it’s a relief.
When your babies aren’t babies,
you want a dog again.
The uses of the body,
you see where they end.
But we are only in the middle,
The organs growing older in their plush pockets
ticking toward the wearing out.
We are here and soon won’t be
(despite the cozy bed stuffed dog pillows books clock).
The boy with his socks on and pajamas.
A series of accidental collisions.
Pressure in the chest. Everyone breathing
for now, in and out, all night.
These sad things, they have to be.
I go into the kitchen thinking to sweeten myself.
Boiled eggs won’t do a thing.
Oysters. Lysol. Peanut butter. Gin.
Big babyface, getting fed.
I am twenty. I am thirty. I am forty years old.
A friend said Listen,
you have to try to calm down.