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My head is a little shelf

where I put the things I find:

airplanes sailing over the city

too bright for the stars, and the people inside.

Stars from the woods, I strew them

over the shelf.

Like marbles they slip over the edge

where you always cup your hands.

I don’t even have to hope anymore. They are there.

You collect with me now:

queen bees like the bodies of little cats

cats from the trash cans and brush around our place

their xylophone ribs, and the way they

butt our feet, wanting love 

but too, our flight.

You collect with me now.

The shelf in my room in the city

is full.



The skin inside my elbow

The skin inside my arm

The private skin like the sail of a boat

where the juice of the summer fruit slips

The boat is still.

The summer is lonely.

I collect the pits of peaches, line them up

like rocky moons.

Count them.

You’ll see how I’ve tried to

stay yours.



Candied apples in cellophane

like handprints on a window

pencil stubs

tomato plants in fall:

a list of things we’ve shined out.

Did the grown-ups we loved

feel like we do now?

The notes I’ve passed to you

have been touched and folded

through enough seasons to feel like


then static

then snow,

which we’ll try to save, too.

How to Survive Vesuvius

You are eating dinner

with the tumult,

because you’ve refused to leave.

Like summer, it blooms hard;

onwards the ash

onwards the sound

onwards the vertical sweeps. 

The sun is covered in bees 

the trees fall

the walls roar with weight 

and the coal-colored world meets at 

your door.

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