the new york times

how i walked into a bear park and a bear was there.
or maybe it was just you, fish head as you turned
new flatscreen but you faced the same

square with curved edges dust licked 
grease slicked remembering how all day 
to accomplish a shower if you did 

and how i loved that level. with bottles
under our feet. take me down to what we are
but there is more and not your more my more. 

you’ve cleaned that room you said, taken out
the corpses, tipped the garbage man
todo bien, i found it unlikely 

how i said you will show me your teeth
one at the side lone stalactite 
and did not ask about your hands your feet 

the cuts on your nose or fresh spider veins
you talked about television and i 
remembered shouts over shoot ‘em ups 

and you in your shakes how i wanted 
to care for you, and still would like to now
but if it’s true i could have it’s true 

i didn’t; i am more the type there is 
a workaround here, and it’s a cat story
you are telling to that old cockatoo sitting next

dying from emphysema. you threw it over the rail? 
cats have nine lives don’t you know although
true, scratching your chin, it’s a long way down

as you i think are about to say remember 
the table the chair and the rest, and thought 
you saw my sneakers, last thing

in case you forget, calico 
i wish i could say more things. an opportunity 
is something i see once it has passed 

like trumpet vines and a rusted don quixote.
talk about dying in three to four not five to ten
but that was two years ago you say, you

are right on target. i felt very much like back 
then drink in hand and edge of stool
perched and primed for you to tell stories 

i was always shocked when it turned
and now the things we cannot say. 
that chair, one time i took it, thought

when you woke, stumbled in
to pull up a different chair. this 
was me hitting back; i was so thoroughly 

beaten. once you watched me almost die
in your own way but neither of us 
is going to apologize for anything 

instead you offer the new york times
they call it the paper of record you know

i took it because i wanted to see you 

in full gather swathe and swipe 
how a catalogue gets caught up
a flyer and whatever; rumple and stuff

in candy striped bag we who cannot 
handle a thing without breaking it i mean we
who cannot handle a thing without breaking it.

* previously published in Curbside Splendor, April 2014.



During the wave’s lifetime

he says, and I think
how many lives
have I watched, just then
end, as he secures 
surfboard and roof rack
talk of point breaks and
large fetch, and 

during the wave’s lifetime
he says, and how it goes

did it collect nicknacks
photo albums and pets

a shore break, he tells me
and how that one goes

life curtailed
I call it curtains
the humph and the falling 

skin the wind 

flesh the swell and fall

pit the foam
white blood 
marrow, bone.

* previously published in elimae, 2010.



window washer

in compostela and you know we also
talked about the future. we say

in the square right there we say it.         
next to conquistador brick, tezontle

and side of the road while i climbed over
fences or crouched in ditches

what you were organizing was
apartments and j calling you drunk

on the street and s asking you to move
her stuff and x wanting to know this

or that; you had all these strays look
exhibit a and y. i come across photos

i’ve forgotten like our unmade bed        
with the striped blanket from the newspaper

pictures, i mean i look for them also
i need them to remind me that once you were

flesh and how have i forgotten that       
bucerías morning, the yellow house, bars

on windows and doors open, all night
i said you cannot do that here really

(this isn’t the marina anymore)
you glared it’s no good! these were our

disagreements when we were and weren’t
talking about doors anymore; stubborn

intractable obstinately you you wouldn’t
do what i wanted you to at all! floored

with eels and stars and your truck’s
green gradient perched like dissatisfied

with something like waiting to pounce on
something better like cobblestone

yard with landlord’s boat; i need
a picture to remind me we said things

to each other that for a short time were
meant or meant something. first

thing i thought who is this guy
who wears his pain on his sleeve

like that, who wears his pain
neck deep like that you know and
you would march in a direction
because you said whereas i am more

picking through possibilities and tossing
last minute rubble, irresponsible

you called it but it’s not schedules
but selective memories i hang onto

even more since the burden of what
you held onto the strain on your face

your bones, do you know sometimes      
i simply let go. the latest obsession

drama bit of fun or sorrow. one time
we kissed and when we looked up

the light had turned green and the other
cars gone. i remember it but not

how it was; the window washer saw

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