a world quiet as black

and white and warm

as an ironed collar.

So, I want to say sorry


for forgetting to hang

my shirt where my shirt belonged.

You could say I learned something


in the drain of this year,

in coffee grounds, stems

of basil and Chernobyl spewing

all over the radio. That city too


quiet in the summer, full of shadows paused

on garage doors. And tonight I stumbled

into a photo of trees felled in an eye,


all trunk and splinter

the way your spine dimpled

where it forked. So, I am sorry


for forgetting how love is, how supple

trees bend, how hard hearts break,

how the wind, the snow, the evacuated

rock and chaos.



First published in the American Poetry Review, July 2013