Monday, May 31, 2021



We bought the right house, only ten years old,

In the right neighborhood for the right price.

But then it all went to shit.

It was too much house

Too much space.

I could never keep up

With all the maintenance tasks.

Patching holes

Sealing leaks 

Clearing clogs 

Doors that didn’t lock

Windows like sieves.

Microwave handles kept ripping off.

Now it's the refrigerator with 

A handle on the ground

After someone yanked too hard.

The ceilings are all starting to yellow

And the walls are streaked and forlorn

Like they’d been up crying all night.

The stairs have cracks in the seams

And the carpet is a vitiligo of stains.

The garden out back is overrun with weeds.

I ought to just plow it under

And sprinkle down handfuls of seed.

But it’s all so much work

Trying to make it my own.

Maybe it’s too late for that.

It already is what we have become.

Maybe it was always too much space

To fill, too much house.

Something smaller would suffice.

And I would like another chance 

To not break something nice.  


Wednesday, May 5, 2021



They put a call out to surgery

When they don’t know what else to do,

When they’ve run out of ideas,

Exhausted all the tests.

Do something, they plead,

There has to be something you can offer.

Sure, I say, I can do lots of things:

Cut, lance, incise, debulk, eviscerate.

I have scalpels and staplers and sutures.

I’m well trained and highly degreed,

Have studied the literature, the relevant readings.

The things I can do I’ve done plenty of times.

But what are we going to call this?

What’s the diagnosis?

It has to have a name

In order to get fixed.

It’s not enough to say she hurts.

It’s not enough to notice she’s distracted

By small men in blue shirts,

That she traces words in marbled counters

When she thinks no one is looking,

That she’s afraid of being under water,

Alone, in a place absent of all sound

Except for the pounding of her own pulse.

It’s not enough to rue the way

She doesn’t laugh at all my clever jokes,

That she insists on eating

When I only have time for a drink.

It’s not enough, I say.

I see her over there

Raking her hands through her hair,

Mistaking shadows for ghosts.

I know I can help.

But first I need a diagnostic code.

I can patch the hole in her heart

Or attach prosthetics to fill

The voids of her missing parts.

With this sharp knife, this bright light, I will

Excise the rotten, the festering, the fluctuant.

But I’ve only been trained 

To manage the known,

The things that have been named.


Monday, May 3, 2021


Cloudy Morning

Sometimes the dreary cloudy morning

That augurs an afternoon deluge 

Is just what I need.

Don’t want to wake up

But can’t go back to sleep.

I’m already showered and out the door,

Driven to earn my daily bread.

The sky is an unmade bed

Of heaped up blankets and tousled comforters

That I reach for through the window.

I want to wrap myself in its sodden softness,

Float along in the gray unfallen

Rain straining at the edges of gaseous nothing.

Not because I’m cold or avoidant.

I just want to be cocooned, 

Cloaked in layers of billowing 

Obscurity just for one day.

The sun will appear tomorrow,

Or someday soon,

Amidst an infinite expanse,

So high and impossibly blue.

I’ll shed my coverings then

And emerge from the mists anew.