Forget bullion bricks
and gaudy chains around
the neck. I’m perfecting
the long tradition of turning
gold to lead. See: autumn
leaves. See: lust. See: everyone
you’ve ever loved who’s dead.
Trees Are Social Creatures
after Peter Wohlleben
They lean away from fellow trees
to share the sun and pump sugar
to stumps of long-gone friends.
Their roots interlock like fingers,
like my grandparents’ hands clasped
across their nursing home room.
When one dies, the other dies, too.
Lessons from the Pygmy Mole Cricket
It leaps from the pond’s surface,
tiny oars of spring-loaded legs
propelling it from a predator’s grasp.
Water, it knows, is surprisingly
thick, viscous. We, by contrast, feel
mostly leaden, convinced the hard
earth that holds us is thin, vicious.
How you began as waxed ribbon
during the late Crusades. How your
curves are called tongues as if they
have something to say. How in nervous
conversation, I pry you into a silver
snake. How, unlike me, you’ve
learned to bend, not break.
Rockwell’s Models Reunite
They were paid five bucks a pop:
the kids in PJs at Santa’s knee,
the blond girl rescued from a flood,
the trumpet-playing carrot-top. The boy
from the barbershop keeps his hair
cropped to a buzz and like the others,
yearns for a time that never was.
The hole in your palm
is an open window, the sash
thrust high in its socket.
I press a coin-sized crumb
of hope in your hand and it
disappears. Then your hand
disappears in your pocket.