You remind me
of a father figure—not
my real father
who I leave absent
from my poems. Maybe for him, there are
too few words, or maybe
I prefer him like a ghost:
imprinted on walls. More words
I can leave scattered
on his grave.
To the sister who has never
forgiven me, I often think of you
on a swing, as the young girl you were
before I was born. Every year
your birthday passes, and I place flowers
on a rock where I imagine you might one day
spread your ashes. To the young girls
we both used to be, these magnolias
in the snow: What a dark, inflamed heart you wear.
COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS
A heart full of sadness and blood
is really just any other heart. So common,
you might find one
at your local supermarket.
next to the empty canisters.
On your way, pickup in Aisle two.
Outside, a broken
shopping cart gate
and a pile of runaway carts
now stacked against the nearest
Toyota. Outside, an old woman dropping
a brown paper bag
with something glass
Outside, the birds humming
with oncoming fall.