Poetry

Leaving One’s Back to the Sea

She of course was dying to tell anyone the danger of leaving one’s back to the sea, an element she said with knifing lips, too dangerous, too vast for trust. The proof, she said was etched beneath its mystery if one could see every comma traced in the surf by dancing lovers’ feet, every vanished

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House to House

He wants it easy, leaning insinuating a natural                         progression. Beyond reason,             he might say anything a personal holocaust served house                to house a purpose  found          at

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Ballroom

I. now it’s a barn, a ballroom really if I close an eye II. the posts wait in shafts of light swirling with dust III. once she pushed me up against the wall entirely IV. on the phone our faces hang, talking mouths open V. the shadow of me pushes hard against my shoes no

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Doc

When I met Doc he shook my hand like a man, told war stories in a southern accent. My best friend Reno introduced him to me. Doc, he said, was cool. Doc had a nice house, a marble sculpture of Greek boys wrestling, masculine furniture, heirlooms and aged books, a Colt’s revolver on the nightstand next to

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Milk From a Bucket

Once I ate cites whole every step a rending tear, tight jaws around fabric of flesh a whited glare sluicing strangers’ faces dry of all but haste the every flavor quick forgotten, ground to ash harvests of cabbage grown from small seed watered all the dry summer only to be hacked from October mud throat-slit

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Lord How We Will Miss Him Now

The old man is a charmer loving his barbershop or anyplace where he can stand a story up and make it holler every day there is a little extra he sees but nobody else notices a small thing flashes by like a bug or a day of the week he’ll dine out for hours on

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Visigoths

They are waiting just over the horizon, swords in hands, capable of anything. So we scurry to our secret rooms strip the larders bare for fear that all will soon be lost

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The Nineteen-Forties

With strong purpose one more of the heroes talks before and after, looks to build and make the broad shoulders real, and smokes against her hat and flattened flannel on a steam locomotive headed out west, towards some station of glad soldiers getting hearty hugs and more, Ernie Pyle writing about how the boys walk

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Vulture

Vulture   A noncombatant, he wasn’t exactly a coward. His parents were Quakers. He, bungling, washed out as a medic the very first week. but the Navy had him regardless, and he stayed back on the boat when the Marines hit the beaches. They knew he was bad luck and did not say goodbye.  

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