questions only for asking

are you now the oak tree,
the one grown not from acorn
but a sapling you stole
from down the road,
dug up, then planted by the shed?

you watched it get tall and
thick with pointy leaves and
I still wince in summertime
when my bare feet land on
an acorn fallen in the grass.

or are you now the knobbled apple
that gives its shade for august naps
and whose windfall fruit shared
their last summer with you?

or the black walnut
with its little stones that
stink of bitter earth and july
and stain everything they touch?

if not these
where else could you have gone?

these bananas
are too green.

I'm sure they've
seen a lot,
being so well-traveled
and all.
But they
are too green

I knew this
seeing them
there on the shelf
looking birght,
I wanted bananas.

now unfairly
hoping sweet,
starchy firmness,
whose fault
is this?

if I weren't
so hungry
they might

I read a letter
never sent
it'd be crumpled too
but it's all digital
black, white, and blue
and if I wanted
I could make it blink
like it were
all fresh again
and I'd say
that I'll just
check the spelling
and send it.

it's not to say
I haven't thought
of you — only
that the train
was too damn crowded
and I wished
you'd wanted
to come downtown
for me.

in short:
why's it I remember
first your teeth
and then
your eyes?

am I
to hear
the morning
and think
they might sing
for me?

and who
are they
to sing
so sweetly?

looking out a window I wish I weren't behind

ranunculus repens

trampled buttercups
like careless papers
crumpled little things
still so eager to be bright.

quiet little things,
beat so low by heavy rain,
all teary with the dew
of morning, look so solitary,
weeping in a meadow.

you weren't made to sit in mist
but sunlight,
from the mountains and
off the lake,
with yellow strong as anything.


well one day, then,
supposing we don't drown first,
we'll go and find some flat place
between the mountains and a creek
snaking simple through the grasses
where we'll fish trout.

tomatoes will do nicely in the sun
and come autumn woody squash
like rocks and stones, we'll laugh
cutting through to seeds.

endless roots and beans, we can
play cards and sweep,
listening to the frost capped grass whispers
once the birds are gone.

then the rain, and we'll bloom
delicate purple, bleeding sticky
yellow for the bees.

the silk plants
by the window
don't need water.

but to them
the sun means

less still
the breezes
and the bees.

the smell of
the snow on
the street —

maybe it's just the
salt mingling with tar

— and the crunch,
soft under my

I remember them,
and when the find me again
I'll be seven,
catching snowflakes.

other things bound loosely together

we are not the cormorants,
sturdy in the wind
baking arms outstretched in the midday heat,
dense salty clumps of feathers in the grass
near the inlet.

neither are we the osprey
who watch, mostly, for small motions
and who might be unseen completely
but for wide nests on tall poles.

you and I,
we're the sand smoothed old shells,
soft and purple-striped,
that didn't wash out with the tide
and wait in starlight to tumble again.

maybe I could be
the orange you peel.

tear into me
with those nails and

watch my skin spray
sweet mist in the sun.

smoke a little

and be an astronaut
in the living room