Aretha you sang
opening soul in the least
of us, mere white folks

whose souls are in doubt.
I had the Bakersfield sound
and Miles in my ear,

which was pretty good.
So did you but only you
held the creation

as a whole in your
love. An open whole. “It’s no-
thing,” you forgave us.


I was new in New
York when I felt it empty
out for the Dog Days.

Sweated in the New
Jersey Transit up and back
standing between cars.

I had to ask where
Fire Island was. Rube. Now I
trip on states of be-

ing where flow and pas-
sage signify more than names
of cool old places.


A very short po-
em should do it. Goodbye to
all that. Enough space

here for the ori-
ginal to reveal itself,
I mean being it-

self as the giver
of the possibility
of new beginnings—-

the pleonasm
forgiven in advance, for
which I’m most grateful.


On a cool day in
summer trees and clouds shimmer.
Light foregrounds itself.

The moment dissolves
like the sun in clouds. But still,
some thing has happened,

‘that it is’ has been,
in a word, spoken. Say the
Creator just sighed.


What do we share in
common? Love’s necessity.
In the cafe, this

couple, she touching
his shoulder lightly as she
sips her coffee. I

make of that gesture
a sign. Necessary bond
of being, subject

to change. I share for
the moment this between of
passing, then they part.


Beauty is skin deep.
It rises like the moon up-
on darkling waters.

It visits the flesh
of lovers sleeping back to
back, drifting through the

aftermath of sex.
Often confused with the sub-
lime, it holds its own.


“Abiding as more
than anything it ori-
ginates”: this morning’s

text. The silence wo-
ven by the mourning dove. An-
alogy is all

between me and you.
Abide with me. Abide, you,
our own local dove.