Fuzzy snowmen smell like turpentine.
Why all this wistful wind,
this heavy quiet,
these creative snowmen dancing in slow motion
to no music?
Not inaudible music,
or even illegible sound,
but nothing at all-
Machines with no factory.
This snow covers a ghost city.
The children scattered and died.
Yes, I am freezing.
Would you like to dance?
Three feet behind Christmas
December 28 is trailing.
She needs a haircut desperately.
Her younger brother lives in New York.
on the social circuit.
Dec 28 is sallow,
reminds her neighbors of a really long line.
I got her a job licking stamps at the unemployment agency.
No one sends her envelopes out.
Yet in her spare time she wins poker tournaments.
Her face hasn’t betrayed her in years.
Church of memoir
Cloistered in my name are ten lives
I did not live
in favor of a sublime 11th.
What is better than best?
What can joy can be discarded for ecstasy?
The taste of salt lines my mouth
when I look back.
translated to Xhosa, Afrikaans, and back
Church of Love
I find joy
while I lay cloistered in my ten lives.
Auroras swirl beyond my reach.
They will not live.
There is a reason I am so inordinately fond of 11.
What is better than a lot?
Why have I ignored peace?
It tasted of salt in my mouth.
Power lines guiding me back home.
Church of Love
Separate the gaiety from the joy.
Lonely in my ten lives,
it is as though they live without me.
How do I dispose of gaiety?
Gangrene sweet my room
I catalog dust,
The watching window would melt my shy desire.
I stoke the fire.
Behind cold glass I burn.
The quality predictions
My name used to be July.
My clothes want butterflies.
I was born to rise.
buried me in his mire.
I have 22 pounds of wishes hidden among the weeping wisteria.
The flowers by the pond have been melancholy a long time.
I drink with them.
Look at Lily’s tattoos.
Kind of abstract, don’t you think?
I’ve been told some people are really into that.
But the roses and I share the best laughs because we know it is not about pattern
but all about color and that soft, sweet texture on the fingerpads.
Meanwhile the snapdragons do deep, twisted math at the waters edge
and I drop a wish in the water.
I do not care for him.
He is stubborn.
I combine my breaths at night.
See Death dance like a dandy with his lover,
a sea gray prostitute
with a song caught in her throat.
Blue light is not chasing
Shades of slate and gun metal pursue me
in a way the other women wrapped in their profiles and friends
would understand more than they want to believe.
Our spirits dream while we say,
How much? That’s too much.
I have to have her there by 3.
We need to get away. It is never just us.
In the suburbs I drive over hillock after hillock
again and again,
for bread and milk,
my fingers searching beneath my skirt for something so dirty it is clean,
so corrupt as to be pure.
Seasons of saffron,
Faucets of Holy water,
of an audience that never claps.
Beauty is never exotic,
The plague is in my closet.
My shoes are conjurers,
My eyes lakes we and your father
went fishing in.
You caught tap shoes.
He caught concurrence wriggling like a worm.
I caught the cable of an elevator
And slid down into myself.
There are no lights down here.
The sea under my hair is hungry.
I’m watching from the bottom.
The sweet blue west calls me.
A vision of endless land is seared into my eyes.
Why take this seasick sailor
and set her in the lovelorn Prairie
where emptiness is everything
and loneliness is nothing,
only to drop her from a thunderous cloud
in a crowded coastal city