My life

ripped apart
by desire:
his for another,
the lack of mine
for him

ripped apart
by anger:
mine at him
for not wanting me
enough to try,
his at me
for not wanting him
at all

ripped apart
and pieced back
in a better order

Some vertical gesture then, the way that anger / Or desire can rip a life apart, / Some wound of color. Robert Hass

Bad posture (revised)

He leans eagerly
across the table,
talks rapidly,
wants to impress,
to please. “Don’t sell me,”
she says,
and he deflates
for an instant,
then goes back
for another try.

Not a first date,
nor the fifteenth,
But a long-standing
lover’s quarrel,
Unfolding with
His pleading, her
tears, his command
To calm down,
“it’s no big deal.”

How long
before they drop
the script? Some
couples never do.
Not even on
their wedding day.
In his eyes,
a desperate hope
that she will
forgive him


on a boat
Harbor Springs
and DuSable,
blue, always blue,
perhaps some silver
and white, and at night,
only the lights from other boats,
and the glow of the distant shoreline
like a watchful line of lightening bugs,
hovering close but unable to help him steer.
What does he think about, surrounded by space,
unbound from routine, unobliged to be connected
by cell phone
or wifi?
What does he ponder, suspended for a brief span
from the normal rules? Of course, I am certain,
he is thinking of me.

Last waltz

Why do I weep
at the woman in the wedding dress
dancing with her ex
on the TV screen.
I don’t want to be her.
I was her
and I fucked it up
and can’t ever have that first wedding again.

I weep for my innocence,
my blindness,
my bitterness,
my trust.

I will never sit on a hard wooden pew
or stand in a garden of lilacs
watching a man and woman pledge
undying love
and not think – however briefly –
of ten years, and tears,
and how I blinked and woke up here.

Moment by moment
I have remade my life,
but it was only five minutes ago
that I bought my own white dress,
and only a second ago
that I took the tax deduction
and gave it away.