Before bed I bounce you on my knee
teasing you with fall
but you call “elephant” my left leg, crossed,
& you ride through the jungle.
You find its mate you say peering
down through the soapy water.
(Continue reading “Elephant Ears” here)
For Major Ragain
So many countries, so many crawdad holes to chart.
The corn starch stalk sticking up the pants leg.
He sings each bend of the river,
the snake shedding mud, fingers
stopping each knotty hole in the log
just below the surface of the keel.
The beerkeg upturned by the burdock.
Jewelweed at the start of school.
(Continue reading “The Map-Maker” here)
Before I learned that the technique a catfish on the hook
meant taking my tennis shoes off and using one as a glove
to keep the body still while my brave hand coaxed
the hook from outraged mouth gasping insults in the air
then using the shoes as pincers I’d pick the thrashing
muscle up and launch it back to its private space
I hated eating fish
(Continue reading “Fishing” here)
I don’t remember the suds so much but
the scalding rinse water boiled at the stove
poured down on my hair
in that cold Illinois kitchen
my sister’s elbows on both sides of me
working the lather
(Continue Reading “The Rinsing” here)
& The Cheese Stands Alone
I bring in the herd, shutting gates.
Soon, all will be down,
the cattle calm in the nativity of night.
(My body soaked with work, washed in the suds
of sex, my wife draped about me
like a towel.) How I dreamed
it would be like this.
But instead I spend the darkness
to describe the stars slowly
gathering like eggs the fragile words
which grow cold and crack in morning light.
No birth for them or me.
(Continue Reading “& The Cheese Stands Alone” here)