Jack

The sense of disclosure
Feels less and less “a thing” to me
Not what the branch means
And not what it writes in the snow
The accident of its life

But that the weird thing reaches

This is so much more elemental
Haunted as the sugars of morning
When dreams trail about them at the window
When all your tragedy has worn off
Tattered as a sleeve

You are hungry again it is laughable

When before all you could eat was cold peas

Leave that poor winter bridge alone

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.