Jake Felt a Bug

Jake felt a bug

on his ankle,

but

he

didn’t

want to interrupt

Claire from saying

what she was thinking, so

he pretended

it

was

a forgettable

itch. They were lying on the grass

in deep left field, near

the woods. It

was late

on a Saturday

night. She held his

life

in her pause.

Somebody Broke Into My Need

Somebody broke into my need

last

night,

unboarded

the windows, took

sheets off furniture

and started

making

a meal

for a happy

gathering. The

neighbors (my

desire

and

my want) figured

it was the goths

of my illusion

playing

at

performance

art in the restlessness

of a midnight

swath. Ghosts

awoke

in anticipation

of resurrection.

I Overhear Evangelical

I overhear evangelical

churchplanters

at the

four-

person table

in Bauhaus Coffee

discussing

capital

and demographics

and the city.

They’re

all

wearing pastelly

polo

shirts

and sporting

varying manifestations

of a goatee.

And I

am

glad

they

are here.

Somebody needs to care

about the withered

souls

of

the young

and beautiful.

If

not

them, who?

Another Solemn Twentysomething

Another solemn twentysomething

in training for resignation

to the absurdity

of time

eventually, passes

me in the evergreen

hallway of the building

we

occupy

in the cooling

lithosphere

of

now. I offer, “How’s it going?”

with half of my heart,

because I

don’t

really

want to know. He smiles

all nonchalance, and

doesn’t

tell

me.

Workshop

“I was overwhelmed

by the anger of

the main

character,” said

a guy named Vladimir,

who looked like he was

from Williamsburg, but sounded

frank. Claire nodded in response

to this observation from her

classmate, wondering

if

it

was

a bad

thing, all the anger. Vladimir kept talking, ever

more passionately for himself,

she

sensed.

Too Late, Too (After Greta Garbo)

Too late, too

late,

was

the amount

listed on the check,

payable

to

Cash. It was

signed and dated

and

mine

forever, a birthright,

an inheritance,

a legacy.

Too

late, too

late for a mazurka

or a waltz

or a

staring

contest with

benefits. I am

satisfied

with

my

days, as they

pass the worst.

This Is My Wilderness

This is my wilderness,

this is my

wild,

said

the resting

crow on the prow

of a bench

next

to the lilac

bush with the fading

purple

flowers

and the strong, green

leaves. No other

bird

was

near

enough

to hear this

thought pronounced

in a sudden

realization

of

a self

made

out of surroundings.

Screaming a Prayer

Screaming a prayer

into the ample

opening

of

the green

garbage can

on the corner of

Broadway and Pike, the mystic

in rags

celebrates

the gloaming of late

evening on Capitol

Hill according

to the voice

of discord

within. I slide away

from his torrential

mouth

in

my

effort to lately

be

of

this

world.

In This Version

In this version,

there’s no

villain.

Not

even

the sulky

23-or-24-year-old

who

won’t

be pleasant

even for a hello.

She’s just a shadow

the burgeoning

tree

casts

in the middle

of a hot afternoon

anyhow.

The

plot

doesn’t

thicken or

deepen or grow.

So

just

wait

and watch

for the extraordinary.

I know it’s

painful.

This Is My Favorite

This is my favorite

life

so

far, because

I’ll never

own

it,

though

I can pronounce

it fluently in

any

sentence.

If I believed

in a god

who

answered

prayer like

an assiduous parent,

I’d

whine

for more

of this particular

life,

where

even the starlings

find a mystery

of

sustenance

in the wanton

gloaming.