As if somnambulist.
As if walking off the cliff
with arms outstretched,
eyes closed. As if
somniloquy: out, out—
our usual discussion.
Goldfish thrashing about
all night. Eyes open,
unblinking. As if lucid.
As if we know how
the sun reveals us: pellucid,
beneath the ice. Mouths
open. Wide open.
Sonnet for The Fool
I am the me in mine own story:
one step away from cliff, a handkerchief
hung on a stick. Stray dog, I’m you. You’re me,
so deeply leap, your whiskers so! Try this:
deal six cards to the dog. Le chien, the kitty,
a face-down pile: the valet, cavalier,
the dame and roi. Don’t forget moi, say me.
I’m your excuse, your guard against the way
that zero multiplies. As zero, I
rule no one yet I’m equal to the king.
No fooling, no u-turns. The joker’s wild,
out of the game. Talk about trick-making!
I count me in & on each hand, unspoken
triumph: never taking, never taken.
Leaving Texas Sonnet (II)
Who knew we still had gold-
mines? Altitude-sick, we’re cold
in the throes of spring. Call it high.
Call it yours, call it mine:
the sandwich between us
on the seat. Jesus-
streaks, the storm clouds part.
A tunnel straight into the heart
of the mountain. Beloved,
there is no mountain, only
paper cut-outs. Each one casts
a layered shadow higher than the last.
If this were your last day on earth
what would you do? Repent, and pray.
Three sparrows on a wire.
No weighty portent, this.
I search mosquito bites, my mumped-up face
for signs. Last year, before
our trouble started, you said:
Scarlet parrots with emerald eyes
escaped from the pet shop, perhaps,
an aviary at the zoo,
or the cynical widow’s window box,
feral now, unfurled
upon the city’s twilit shoulders.
Raucous cries commute their gorgeous warning.
But now the only sound to heed, the folding
of road maps in my lap. Listen: