From: SET DOWN HERE
THE BAD CHILD
You might have known when her colic
pierced your dreams, no cradle or breast
could exorcise, and later when
she taunted a mother's mellowed
wisdom or waltzed beyond reach
of the useful slap. You might have known.
But mostly she walked inside your days
like a flower girl, scattering
healing noises and fragile kisses,
making your life a glowing bridal.
So you forgot how bad a child
she was, forgot until the naughty,
the incorrigible girl turned
your clothing inside out and stole
away your shoes, and hung your mirrors
with rags, and locked herself
in her room and plucks with impunity
from their constellations
the orderly stars.
Back-cover page and where to buy: SET DOWN HERE
WAKING AT MIDNIGHT
The air's a fragrant juice, and August
ripples on the ceiling in a lace
of black oak leaves.
The dresser mirror's caught a mother-of-pearl flounder
I lift my hand, and when it doesn't swim away
or flap, I slide my hand inside
as in a glove. Entrails wrap around my fingers,
a stone heart beats against my palm.
So how do I tell my feet and arms about the moon,
except to get up
and dance around the bed, around
the dresser and the mirror, appearing
and disappearing; I'm dancing through
This morning I look in the mirror
and see that I have changed.
Tonight I look up at the moon,
high in a net of stars,
and see that it has changed, too..