My Confrère the White

My confrère the white

toaster

is

raling

with age

as it struggles

to wizen my whole

grain bread—palatable

only when sturdy, beneath crunchy

Trader Joe’s peanut

butter. The old,

embattled,

minor

appliance

by the window

purchased for $12

at Bed Bath & Beyond

will last one more breakfast,

says

the hope

in my hunger.

The Only Poet

The only poet

I know

out

there

is the moon,

these days. It stays

away

from

parameters

in its openness

to being understood.

It lets us collect

our specimens

from

its

surface,

measure its

circumference, imagine

its

windy

history of

desolation and

want. We underestimate

its

light

every night

as a mirror of

the

untellable.

Gladly Beyond

Claire figured

Gorilla

was

probably closed

for the holiday, but

she kept walking toward

Flatbush anyway. When she

reached the storefront she saw

a bearded barista behind the counter

with a white cloth,

and two disparate

customers hunched

over steaming mugs.

There was

no

Christmas

music playing

inside. She ordered

a large, black coffee,

to stay.

Affair

Behind a scrim of mystery

the mundanest

is

alluring

for sure. I was

haunted by the silhouette

of the night creature, I couldn’t

identify,

until

Guilt

pronounced

itself at last, from

my

lips. Our union was torrid, we

cared for no boundaries of propriety,

until every last corporeal was renounced

in an endless,

loveless

dire.

There Were Red Poppies

There were red poppies

growing in the fallow

canola

field

between

Friedhofstraße

and the stone wall

on the west side of the

garrison. Jake paused along

the paved path homeward

to consider them.

One

was several

petals to the wind,

its pale green stamen stoic

for a decaying

sake.

Another was brand

new,

also

uncompromising.

No One Is Realer

No one is realer

than this:

not

you; especially

not the Christmas

season, with its plastic

joylessness and rush

for

plenty

morelessness; not the cresting

Seahawks, or the dysfunctional

<fill in the blank with any

New York sports

team>.

Alright, maybe

you might be. But

that’s

a secret

I’m avoiding

the time

to tell

me.

Too Tired to Recall

Too tired to recall

the obscure

Emily

Dickinson

poem he memorized

a weekend ago, for intimacy;

in the lee

of

waiting

for the 10 or 11

bus from downtown

to Trader Joe’s at the tor

of the Hill; a blue Ford Escort

whizzes

by

and the lines

of abandonment

to the injustices of feeling

reconstitute.

In the Restaurant

While he was in the restroom,

Claire noticed the ghost

of her absent ring

in a paler rim

of skin

on

that finger. She rubbed

it with her thumb, and it tickled

like the sensitive, healed underneath

of a bandaid, after long concealment

from light and touch. He returned

to find her starving

with eyes.

I Like the Idea

I like the idea

of serving 

a purpose

greater

than

myself,

said the red

New American Bible

on the bedside table

to the Japanese

IKEA

lamp

with the brown

paper shade.

Yeah,

I hear that,

said the light

source. It was a new

concept

in the room,

and most of the other

objects

opposed it.

In This Community

In this community

of pen

and mind

and the whooshing

outside my window

in the revenant

night

that might

be the natural

chance of wind, or

the mechanical traffic

on I-5,

I

continue

to understand

almost nothing of

the small

or the large.

I had a good

conversation with a real

person

earlier

today; moreover.