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I like a straight line.
—Todd Videlock

Not the worm,
not the stick,
not the swollen
river bed,
not the canyon,
not the fish,
nor stems
of violets,
and not
the field grass,
not the vine,
there’s something
that can’t love
straight lines,
and love
could never,
ever work
upon a grid—
it needs
a curve,
an arc,
a bending
sigh,
like a moon,
like a swan,
like the tail
of a kite.

It’s Possible

Where have you hidden your fear?
—Wendy Videlock

Sometimes in yellowed pages,
sometimes in apple seeds,
beneath a flight of squeaky stairs,
inside abandoned shoes.
But also in the syllables
that never meet the air,
in broken cups,
and under leaves,
inside the writhing jazz.
And sometimes I forget to hide
my fear behind the dusty vase.
I leave it on the countertop
or in my shopping cart
where a child who does not know
that it is something to be feared
will pick it up and play with it
like a ball, like a doll,
like a shard of a fun house mirror.

so much rain
all the rooks, bishops, pawns and kings
slip off their squares
into vast mud puddles, laughing
till even the hands that move them jump in

Two Barbs

a whole field of peonies
and all I can smell
one dead mouse

*

taking the hook
out of my lip, releasing it
back to you

not for their taste
but because they sprout first
we plant the radish seeds—

meanwhile I say to the clock,
slower, please, just a little bit slower

no wonder my feet
never reach the brakes—
all this time
trying to drive
from the passenger side

In the dream, it was a man.
He pretended it was an embrace,
squeezing me as he did.

Getting dressed this morning,
still feeling the places he crushed

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