March 28, 2011

What town are you going to make for yourself?

I would like it
if I came home and saw
you wrote a poem for me.

It would be late
I would be hungry
I would eat it like a snack
and totter off to bed.

March 24, 2011

Late Landing

Early evening. Out the window, slender smoke ledge of cloud suspends the horizon. Above it the sky silvers into blue. Below, all is void and the grid of earth spinning below, spirals of white houses.

The city is distant
glowing rose
inside a hard clear moat. Night is drifting down from the sky. 
Who could think of sleep now? Sails open. 
Chairs are being set outside. 
Girls slip on sandals 
and shake their moist hair down to the ground.

It’s evening in New York. Wake up.

March 21, 2011


I look down from the window
and what I see is impossible
to decipher
Perhaps we were not meant to look at the earth
from this angle
we have no eyes for what it is
we are always lost from above
until we see a lake shaped like a map
or a cluster of black roofs
that reminds us of home

My friend is an engineer who once built planes
He says humans still don’t quite understand
why they fly
There are equations
that don’t tie out
There are assumptions
that no one has proven
The physics don’t work

But planes fly
it is true
They are up in the air
I am in them
Their impossible feat
an act of faith 
and terrible imagination

March 15, 2011


When you leave, the passengers look like you.
They’re from your town,
They eat at your restaurants.
Then you land in Rome.
How could you have been so wrong?
They’re Romans, clearly.
Didn't you see the luggage?
Didn’t you hear them speak?
Didn’t you see him lower his lids,
kiss her ear,

March 12, 2011


I want a flight attendant
To call me to bed
To tell me it's been secured
To tell me what to turn off
To stow.
Where to sit.
I want her in a dark voice
with champagne edges.
I will do what she says.
I will follow every command.

March 11, 2011

New Injuries

Actually, this is easy.
I got used to
the slow, hot, painful
burn of you long ago.

March 6, 2011

Business Class

I am slouched against the plane's window, cold head wasted from daytime numbers. The ice night passes below. I will hang my coat. I will drink the free wine. I will imagine I am different than this. I turn off the overhead light and in the blue black feel the air of the earth rush under my feet. There is a woman knitting. Across the aisle a man with a paper stares at one word for twenty minutes. It is silent except for the engines which are a 1972 Ford LTD late Saturday night driving me and my mother, fog sleep descending on us. A stewardess arrives and lifts me, tiny and curled, whispering home. She carries me in her arms to the rim of the plane. Cities spread forward, dots of white and orange, blinking. In between them, like gravity, blackness. Goodnight she says. I look up at her and and shake my head no. Feed the engines the wine and burn my clothes for fuel. I will help you hunt for quarters in the seat cracks, we'll pay the pilot to continue on, to Godthab, to Gdansk, to the Black Sea, to Ceylon, to Borneo. Just keep the plane flying. Let the air hold us aloft. We can remain forever on the dark side of the earth, out of day's reach.

March 3, 2011


You are laying on your side, pale moon silk molting into mattress. You are bent and still, listening to the other end of a wire that's stretched taut across hills, buried beneath black cities, under moss, piped through rivers. It spins into my mouth, wraps itself like a bandage on my swollen tongue. Each time I mouth a worm word a thin trickle of electricity follows the light night path to your bed, your ear, your wet lungs, your silver, shimmering skin. Don't sleep, not yet.