Salmon and Blood Orange
When the paycheck’s delayed
and the kitchen is draped
in shadow, we reach back
into the cupboard dark to sustain.
Sea kelp we couldn’t rehydrate,
burdock root gnarled to boar knuckle.
From the macabre still life
of the fruit bowl, we revive
our remains into something
unrepeatable and the haphazard cuisine
stitches the work of our days.
Sometimes a tapas of bold flavor
or just muddled in obscurity
like the night we finally opened
the anchovies and laid them
on an improvised crust.
This is what it means to be a family.
We sit down with our bounty
of endings, last wedge
of salmon and blood orange—
Blessing of Hours, Curse of the Horse
In the middle of the field,
may your horse float
against the furze, fog of morning
like unfinished sleep, may the wet
cockle of his eye be the only clarity,
your skin blurry as on some shore
may fall a lone shadow
that points to no tree.
May the hills, luminous and green,
make green your intention
as silent as wishes
for daughters issued at birth.
May you fall in a nettle patch
May you wade in the brine
May updrafts wail clean off black
waves, a red stone in your throat
a no-stone for memory.
In the middle of the year
may your horse's gait in the uncut
grassesbe so deeply swaying
your bones shine in their paper bindings
and if he must eat, may you offer
your hand, your hand in his
dry mouth, the scars and the conscience
of pleasure out of this world join.
Year of the Ox
begins with cellar apples gone blue tanglewood woven to bone in the zero
woods solo bellow keen pack on boxes untidy moon-cargo woman
mending, bird light stack the papers set the clock drag the needle through
the eye of night the lesson is again the lesson is wisteria a mute swan returning
to roost or there is no lesson only footnotes to a prologue align with a tide
chart keep count but start over after one hundred begins with a tornado siren
begins with a coda carry the rat on your back, highlander don’t talk too much
a farewell letter a stalk of boneset gives way to tiny howlings