MLK

Today feels like hell,
everybody smiling and
trying not to think

the holiday is
MLK’s birthday, you know
the name of the street.

As a child I learned
King was a communist but
now his name sells things.

Our evil not his
is what preoccupied me
today, then you came

to mind, and his love
for truth and freedom became
more real in your light.

Street Cam

The ordinary
under such threat of nonbe-
ing, the tsunami

from the Pacific,
the scale of things inhuman.
A normal morning,

the damp street slowly
filling with people whose pur-
poses are open

to change the minute
something happens, perhaps just
meeting an old friend.

Love Laughs

My dead wife sometimes
laughs from the grave, or at least
I hear her laughing

spontaneous laughs,
not from the head but from the
innermost person.

Call me crazy, I
hear it when my lover laughs
in her soft belly.

Couple

I doze in the sand.
An old couple races back
from the rising tide,

their laughter mixing
with the cries of seagulls. I
look: they are dragging

long ropes of kelp from
the ocean and flinging them
back in sleepy arcs.

I wake to their screams
of delight as the bigger
waves knock them over.