YALTA

YALTA

              The boardwalk on the beachfront was tacky,           although that did not put me off from buying           dirt-cheap earrings with my leftover rubles,           but away from the tourists—including plenty of Russians—           outside the city, in the...
Claustrophobia

Claustrophobia

The crush of it: not just the body swaddled in the sweat of fear’s embrace, but the thought confined and bursting within its battered valise, buckled and strapped for a trip to nowhere but a smaller place inside a cell where every pulsing neuron pounds against the...
Washoe Taught Us

Washoe Taught Us

              the language of grief           is not exclusively human.           A wolf carries off our goose           by his gaunt neck in the night.           His partner wanders the perimeter           of our fields for six days           until her honking grows...
Stripping

Stripping

    Like a benediction, we grow into a smaller language. So many words given up, disremembered, abandoned from tents & saw packs. What use here in the Middle Santiam Wilderness do we have for the word sink? When would we ever utter closet or phone or bank...
Necessity

Necessity

              When I worked in an orphanage a boy           came to harvest sugar cane in what           he’d worn to work the street at a beach resort.           His bunkmates picked up volcanic rock           I later learned geologists call scoria—a word...
Not Huron or Michigan

Not Huron or Michigan

              If your wife hates you           don’t go out and get another one,           it’s probably not your fault anyway           unless you put too many oranges in the bowl           and were only supposed to place two.           Still, she probably can’t...
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