And the mother with scarlet baby biting

and the trucker with the bullet whore, crying


though he’d like to do more. And the newlyweds

too poor to go too far – but still he brings crimson


and the nurse escapes, blots her mascara

on paper sheets which dry an ink spill,


and the farmer sweats the night

and goes back to grass the next day,


and the male too scared to shit,

waits for the balloons to break.


And only yesterday I was told

of my grandmother below hospice sheets,


and there’s angel dust in skeletal lamp light,

brown, moth-size burns left on the shade.


And someone looked out this window,

and someone spilled wine for the floor


and you have to tell yourself without fear

where this goes, and what we leave,


what remains whenever

we are a little bit gone. And how many


others have had this bed and done

what I’ve done – come in a hand


beneath whispering sheets,

wiped their ghosts on white before sleep?




First published in Tomorrow, We Will Live Here, 2010.