Published in the anthology Illness & Grace, Terror & Transformation (Wising Up Press, 2007).
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
--- it's a mean little tin
filled with claws and hairballs
and everything else I ever tried to lose:
blood-stained snippings of a straw broom,
four too-memorable wine corks,
and that dog's back molar crumbling into death
--- a worthless nugget of domesticated calcium, really,
but it resembled the way I held on tight.
Even architectural drawings, those violet plans
for a bridge we never built between us. And the perch-bones
I threw away so many times but found, always, floating
like a warning in the toilet bowl or reclined luxuriously
on the butter; and those roaches I couldn't kill,
so I sealed them into drops of molten amber,
fossils that hardened as the sap cooled.
Husks of dead sin grown permanent as a gemstone,
and secret potentials: an egg under glass,
framed by yellowed lace and penny nails
and resting in its nest of short hairs. Intimacy.
An avocado pit painted golden; saintly camouflage,
a round flame to warm the heart. And a locked drawer
with three tallow candles given to me by an elderly plumber
who promised as his fingers found mine
"They light up the dark places, honey, and they burn for so long..."
To get at the candles, though,
I’d need a little key. Perhaps that tarnished one
that hangs from its brass string
singing "Remember me --- ? Remember me --- ?"
How Top-Secret Warheads Were Moved
Work from the Permanent Collection
The Edible Marie Antoinette
The Transfiguration Box
A Light Like Fireflies
A Mapped Route to the Island of __________
The Road from Here to Absolution
Signs & Signifiers
Knowing Stone from Seed...
A Woman Feels the Weight of Love
Come Sunday, The Dog of His Thoughts Will Bury Something Unspeakable In Your Muddy Garden