LAST NIGHT I DREAMED I was a child. Mother on the front porch, watering flowers. Daddy on the couch, book fallen to the floor. Too young for words, I know nothing of their worlds. Ornithology. Site fidelity. Geraniums. Faith. I know nothing yet of the split between science and God, between men and women, between want and need. Home is a set of sensory perceptions: the rough-smooth texture of my father’s wool socks; bright red tomatoes on the windowsill; my mother humming “Abide With Me” as flowers outside remain abundant, carrying full green leaves.
or, rather, we see his shoes poking out
from beneath the yellow tarp someone—a police officer—
has hastily thrown over his body. Never never never
have I see such expressive shoes,
A moose is not an elegant creature. Though powerful, those thick hindquarters, jug head, and humped back don’t arouse the same awe a mountain lion’s sleek muscles inspire. Moose legs, long and fine-boned as those of a racehorse, just look like matchsticks poking from a matchbox body. They don’t suggest freedom, or swift escape.
The wounded deer
died in the impossible
garden. Did it become
the orchid that shouldn’t
be there, the cactus dying
in a rain puddle? The trestle
bridge carries more weight
than my body, but the heft
of a memory changes
I dropped my car off for service. It was seven in the morning, and they told me to go get a cup of coffee, that my car would be ready soon.
It was 3:20 pm, the time when we pooled in the parking lot, gridlocked and blasting music, looking for our friends.
It was easy to forgive prostitutes in Mexico, / in Amsterdam. Less easy was the money thrown around / On Avenida Presidente after driving down
Goat was in her trunk, dying but still kicking. Every so often his hooves thumped against the seat backs then for agonizing minutes he’d lay still again.
Silent films are, for most of us, part of a quaint and distant past.
Hannah arrives home from school to find that Tim has removed the entrances to the house again. In place of the front door, an escalator now descends toward her.
Lying beside me with his head on my chest, Strauss, a white and black English Setter I had recently rescued from the local animal shelter, cocked his ears. I glanced up from my book into the velvety darkness outside the second-story bedroom window which, during the day, offered a charming view of the historic mule barge canal as it skirts the Delaware River and threads under the low, arched bridges through New Hope, Pennsylvania, a gentrified mill town just north of where George Washington crossed the Delaware to sneak up on the Hessians.
One of the first poems in Marylen Grigas’ Shift, “About Muscle,” relates the life cycle of a sea squirt, a creature whose time on earth culminates when it comes to rest on a rock and devours its own brain.