Buds

On the tips of twigs
green buds carry mounds of snow—-
a calendar page

of Hokusai? No.
Time’s complications as my
life’s dialectics

stall. However I
take the hint from Hokusai.
Great Wave, Mt. Fuji,

the perfect image
is possible, possible,
in our little life.

Somewhere

Another Spring, a-
nother leavetaking. The way
brightens with cold ur-

gency. A brief ice-
storm, then blinding clarity
in all directions.

A life of crossroads.
Not exactly. Origin
and goal a single

source of energy.
The new tongue we spoke in bed—-
it came from somewhere.

That

When I am praying
or at least lying on my
bed alone thinking

of nothing, my cat —-
she who normally escapes
my grasp most featly —-

flops down next to me
and breathes little breaths in my
face. Missing as I

do that armful of
warm girl —- thighs, breasts, nipples, clit—-
I have a hard time

praying, and so my
cat keeps her distance, watching
from her sacred space.

Valentines

In grade school we would
send pink paper Valentines
promiscuously

and look for blushes.
The heart’s fulfillment in o-
ther’s sudden pleasure

at best. At worst, no-
thing: indifference. And so
one learned self-hatred.

Dogs

I now know that love
is not something I can know,
though I must endure

it. The cat on my
lap tenses when she hears a
dog bark. What does she

know about dogs? I
know more about that question
than I know of love.

I know she fears dogs.
I don’t know enough about
love to stay away.

Us

Whatever happens
it is all good, you said as
your ride pulled up to

the curb. The sun shines
on the disappearing car,
through the pale green leaves

of the old trees. The
cool of the morning seals them.
What we did changed us.

Work

Close every book.
Pile every paper in
a neat pile. Let the

computer sleep. Quit
the house. Take a moon-turn. See
yourself as you are,

as a body be-
tween earth and sky, a mass of
shadows on the road.

Walk into town. Drink
a dram of something costly.
Return to work. Work.