So Maybe It’s True
poetry doesn’t make you a better person,
and the news that can be found there
is like some gone week’s Sunday Times
tossed in its clear green wrapper
beneath the neighbor’s car.
The one who died
and no one came to find him,
and you didn’t knock on his door
when his trashcan of carryout chicken and ribs
sat spilling its own kind of news.
But, oh, to live awhile as marrow
in someone else’s bones,
to breathe her breath upon the mirror
held up to your life,
doesn’t it make you want
to fling open whatever door you come to,
doesn’t it make you want to try?
Things I Would Never Say in a Poem
I love you. I love you more. I love you to the moon and back without at least a whiff of rocket fuel and powdered Tang for the journey. And too, I would have said that Tang would never be in any poem of mine, but there it is. The way my dead mother a lifetime ago plopped the top from a jar of it onto a lidless orange teapot because it fit. The way my husband every morning of our marriage states the moreness of his love with such conviction we were five years in, at least, before it dawned on me the phrase had not originated with him. And dawn without a streak of orange scratched through blueblack sky? Not in my poem. This poem, though, has its own way of saying what it wants to, of taking any old thing and not even trying to make it new. It’s not a competition. My husband says that too, and so I let him win. That’s how much I love you, I say.
The Old French,
how well they understood
of outside looking in:
videre from weid, "to see,"
at the green root
of all wisdom
and wit, invidious or otherwise,
of twit and video,
our kaleidoscopic view.
One of the seven
Dante’s purgatorial eyes
Cain over Abel,
the Towers of Babel
and Trump—only pride
more weights the soul.
The evil eye is cast,
from the head
that wears the crown.