Kaya was risk averse. While our older dog Sappho bloodied her nails scrambling up scree and once gashed her ears tailing an elk through barbed wire, Kaya stayed at our sides with four paws on the ground. She walked off leash for most of her life, rarely enjoyed running, and endured 4th of July fireworks by standing with her head stretched under a coffee table.
By the time I finished Dan Lewis’s collection Intimations of the Focal Plane many sections of my journal were scribbled over with citations of snippets from the tome. His words, blazed and blazoned on my pages, had magically transformed each into a focal plane of its own.
Side effects may include digging / a hole in your personal snow / to a time before your heart / floated next to your father’s heart
Lashed & anchored to the front of each ship, / a woman—breasts carved from dark oak, / all the wildness sanded down, polished out; / half human, half fish, a grotesque fantasy
Two wolves mating and then / at rest, the carnal moment just caught.
In Ghana, I was warned, all snakes are poisonous. All ninety-two species. If you are bitten, you have to grab the snake and take it along to the hospital so they can give you the correct antivenin. Assuming they have antivenin. And assuming there’s a hospital.
She keeps verbs in their bee box / until they all are queens. She keeps / words clean as the bowel of a sink.
These past few months, I’ve taken great amusement in others’ reactions to my newly bushy beard, and in their questioning why I’ve chosen to let it grow so full and long now that I’ve turned 60 and my beard has turned white.
The British call seagulls the “thugs” of the bird world. They “detest” the birds for snatching food from picnic tables and depositing splotches on cars. Pigeons and magpies come next on the list of most loathed, followed a few slots down by the unlikely sparrow who is simply “dull looking,” a criticism that seems dubious coming from a populace of oxfords, woolens, and tweeds.