for Ari

You are on your side of the bed

facing the window your back to me.

Your Mac at your hips is unattended,

Reno 911 getting no laughs.

The sheets are warmed by the electric blanket.

The room is usually cold and it is tonight.

Are you quietly crying

or do I imagine it?

You have encountered this change in our lives

—plans on hold, plans on the back burner removed,

a trip to Portland, a move to Berlin or Philly?—

like a man beyond his age.

You are sweet and kind.


You do the household chores

I’m no longer able to do.

You make the coffee.

You recycle the trash

and lug it to the curb on Wednesday night.

You continue as if everything was normal

still ‘Thriller’ dancing down the stairs,

and singing (Freddie Murcury, AGAIN?),

yes, always the singing as if cued

by some invisible baton only you can see.

I attempt to rise. To pee.

Automatically you turn and your eyes betray your secrets.

You close your computer

and support my lower back with a little push.

Getting out of bed is an act of faith and magic.

November 11, 2015




The right forefinger.

Now at it again

like a hummingbird

suspended in flight


feeding on wind,


for sudden


I think of my freshman

Bible Studies class

A million years ago?

Saint Agatha Academy

tucked safely away

in a charming Southern town

(but one racially corrupt like the rest)

Sister Hildegard, 85, or so,

we thought Could she be a 100?,

swiftly turning from the blackboard

at the sonic-boom sound

of a dropped book or bomb—even she

heard it,

her black veil a wing,

her crooked arthritic finger shaking

in my direction—I had to be the one.

November 5, 2015

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