Poem for October Shootings

Another autumn comes
to get the trees stoned,
to squeeze your hand
with thin and late light
a little on this street
that’s shaded by all these
ancient sycamores. You love
the scraggy sounds
those giant leaves
make when, dried-out,
they fall, and run like rats
down the street when wind
comes around that corner
that’s actually a dive bar.
The soul spittoon’s only windows
are narrow glass cinder blocks,
castle slits, so you’re spared
from seeing the dead/dying
who sit in there and watch
a small television
in the moist underworld,
who sometimes shoot each other
dead-for-real just outside the door
of this cave establishment,
because someone else just said
what they were already
thinking about themselves
in a cruelly honest way.

Her Husband, Who Lives in Bars

A spaniel runs through a field
of wildflowers, purple, white lace and goldenrod,
and it is nobody’s dog
and doesn’t even know it is Tuesday
or that it is now called “missing,”
though it intends to return
to the arms of the one it loves,
and plant a sloppy kiss
on an angry mouth,

the dog solution to everything.