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
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.
You’ll see how I’ve tried to
Candied apples in cellophane
like handprints on a window
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
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