smoke curls through the window

this is the circle
this is the going-around
old leaves and green wood
on a cold spring night

this is how I hear you
a stolen cigarette
the silence of lifetimes

I can smell the smoke

this is the circle
this is the going-around
the part I keep holds me down

the world fits between my
fingertips smooth and open
this is how I see you
this is the circle

leaving is always
black and white





Green Buddhas
On the fruit stand.
We eat the smile
And spit out the teeth.
      –Charles Simic



somewhere all is green
and we laugh like baby buddhas
we pin flowers on
our sleeves we wait for the
blossoms to bear fruit
we don’t sit we stand
everywhere the sunshine goes we
follow we forget to eat
a river calls us to the
edge the water like a smile
rocks like invitation and
the river gods spit
us out
our flesh bursting like ripe peaches see the
dragon’s teeth











he walks up pointing his cane at our flowers. I know your people, he says. they’re good people. we’re all good people around here. we were good kids back then. I remember. we didn’t do nothing real bad, stole us some watermelons. we had some fistfights, yeah. but, oh — those boys could play ball. your granddaddy was a pitcher. he had an arm, boy. we were just kids, he says, just kids. he wipes his face, puts the rag back in his pocket. well, he says, I buried my son today. it don’t seem right but you know, these things happen. they happen. nothing you can do. he sighs. well, tell your daddy I knew his daddy. I always remember good people.


it’s still cold —
I hope no one notices
the turkey vultures