Interstate

I wanted the last
move to be to the ocean:
the Interstate will

have to do. Same roar,
without the breathing. No risk
of personifi-

cation. My fellow
mortals up and down the coast.
The sense literal.

Dumb existence? No.
The further in I go the
more outside I am.

News

Our President whines
like a puppy in the em-
brace of Russia’s bear,

our confidence man
betrayed, the art of counter-
feit (Iranaeus,

pray for us!) lost on
us. We are deeply disturbed—-
you might say, we’re fucked.

Sparrow

On my way to work
on a hot summer day like
this one only on

the other coast I
stop to watch a sparrow take
a dust bath. Not dust’s

epiphany, that
sparrow, yet sacred the space
between god and us,

a difference I
cannot measure. The given
sparrow truly gift.

Perfume

In William Stafford’s
ODE TO GARLICK he says it
makes us all alike.

That’s so Oregon.
We came here, a right to die
state, from New Hampshire.

We’d met in Rhode Is—
land. The perfume at moth hour
stuck to your screen door.

Here they pan for gold
with words and often find it.
You loved Barbara

Pym. Toward the end
you loved seeing the moon un-
dressed by a bright cloud.

Easy

The poet pauses
near the end. ‘Of itself/age
has no pull.’ The job?

‘To call it a day.’
You are at the end of your
rope. Words, words, the rest

just words, excess of
language. The silence beyond
you would have a word.

‘Be easy.’ Who said
that? Sir Geoffrey Hill? He dead,
has called it a day.

This poem refers to (glosses?) Geoffrey Hill, The Orchards of Syon, XXXii.

Button

Wake to the blinding
morning light of this July
day in Oregon,

recall the blinding
white of the Puritan chap-
el your first wedding

took place in, but then
fast forward to the small place
forty years later—-

a Portsmouth cafe—-
where you tied the knot again.
Human foolishness

(you nervously sewed
a button on your best shirt
while Toby waited)

but good and evil
are not everything, love
makes fools of us all,

transforming us by
its soft wild humbling touch when
it feels we’re ready.

Marginalia

I read god is love.
I read love just happens to
us, arrows thick and

fast out of nowhere.
On the page I read these words
the shadow of the

wings of a tiny
transparent being moves a-
cross the printed page.