Anatomy Lesson

To understand the heart
you’ve got to memorize arteries, vessels,
and which goes where, which is red
and which is blue, what’s likely to pop open–


The Pacific Ocean, to a child of three,
sounds like a push-broom in his mother’s kitchen.
Life took us elsewhere: like other boys, I learned


The high sweep of waves, like the bulging arc
of a grand piano, and the silence of deer in a field of
lupine and trefoil, and the underthrum

May Cause

Take this, take it with crackers or bread. Do not. Do not. Do not
chew or crush. You are pregnant, may become pregnant, or are


What my eyes see reminds me of under-exposed / negatives from my bygone wet photography days, / days replete with eyes—the camera’s, the enlarger’s, mine—

The Healer

For months, her determined hands
/ coaxed the sickness up and out of my lungs / until it came to rest, eventually, in her own—

Fast-Thinning Throng

I’m angrily packing to fly to my dying brother. / My husband stands and watches. As a tree / might look at someone, he looks down at me.

Drought Pastoral

I wanted you, desert / you red incorruptible // parchedness perched on / the earth’s bone shoulder

Describe a morning you woke without fear.

It is four in the darkness and you cannot breathe. / You cannot will your chest to expand, and suddenly, / this is all right.