watching the polygons


when someone pours dad’s old tinker-toy box full of marbles on the roof & they spill down the sides pinging & plunking everywhere just everywhere until we can’t help but laugh even though the car & the windows & our strawberries & oh my the new azaleas


when the sky one-one-thousand flashes & we are caught in stop-action still frames with bette davis eyes until the giants two-one-thousand in heaven start moving their furniture lord that must’ve been a heavy chifferobe & the wind the wind oh my did you hear that wind?


so we sit in a bathtub with flashlights & blankets & our little dog too quiet like mice waiting we’re waiting for



mary oliver






we knew it was
a mammal when
fur moved from
field to tree
and even though
there were mixed
fractions we
were distracted
so you went
prowling all of
us howling cat
dog coyote until
it leapt away and
back you came
classification sated
we all waited but you
said nothing knowing
something seeing
order somewhere
between sun and
shade telling us
there is a



kay ryan




I knew the end before she started so I laughed when she said raccoon. have you ever been to sacramento? even in the rain stars look like stars: scratches through a silvered mirror, cake crumbs on a peel-and-stick floor. the day she died I wore blue earrings. did you ever lose your keys? I get distracted by mud: the smell of worms, evidence of animals. I have crawled through the bathroom window and unlocked doors. I have picked up clumps of soaking wet leaves. I have back-tracked. do you ever hear a thing I say? it’s still raining. raining. there’s a raccoon underneath the bird feeder eating all the black-oiled sunflower seeds. a raccoon. did you hear me? I said a raccoon.

a driveway
full of finches; no one
answers the door





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










my arms bend at awkward
angles as I leave this smoldering
fire my skin carries splinters of
wood like wet grass

I’ve been quiet for one hundred years

I brush soot from my hair phantoms
erased with a blink of an eye
moving into the air sometimes
these ashes rise

men have forgotten the smell of smoke






object so perceived


Humans and beasts are different species, but foxes are between humans and beasts. The dead and the living walk different roads, but foxes are between the dead and the living.

… one could say to meet a fox is strange; one could also say it is ordinary.

    — Ji Yun, 1789, in Notebook from the Thatched Cottage of Close Scrutiny




you are here old
sorcerer where this pile
of leaves becomes soil

I see your fox teeth

what magic do you
bring the less I say
the better

I see your seven tails

I will find you another
moon your golden spine
cracked with lightning

I see rain falling from the clear sky








day 1