Black Locust Road

When Nature needs to speak, she will
Reach into her washbag of wet roots
Pull back handfuls of filberts, gambol
The dice down a road
Lined with Black Locust trees

Roll down each toe
Bone to powder that once stood
Atop domains, believing
Its tread regulates it all

I’m wearied of pretending, she’ll say and reveal
All is deciduous wild under her

Blood of habit, she outpours
Down the thread furrows of bark
The hardest heartwood around

They line streets of every town
Shawls of armistice and other invasive growth
Hawthorne springtime, at last


The Performance

She wanted to but could not;
hest hot with words
Mouth even opened so
Each bee could charge forth

She assailed to the pillow
Softness breaking into
The even-softer

         — And I realize she hasn’t changed

Even in the face of all this she hasn’t changed
Enough to express a dislike for Chinese food
Or anger at being always asked
For more and

            Better and

            Longer and

            Thinner and

            Smarter and

            Richer and


She feels you insisting she wake
And produce for you
Something she wants for only herself

You’ll take all your privilege
She, without protection
Only distance

And you wake her between nightmares
As if you’re about to take care of a child
But all you want is whatever she has
Left to give:
Some last drops of milk from the breasts

You’ve come to the Female trough
She has none but Medusas

You would always unsettle the slumber
To satiate desire for any body
Even hers, the hated
And hate on it

She said “performative”
And you so enjoy an independent woman
Who can deal with her shit on her own time
You’ve just won her crushed chrysanthemums

Ten Years and you don’t
even know she is bruised at all
Except when she is drunk and wears red lipstick
For the performance

All you men
And your daydreams of the female wellspring

So resplendent



The Red Armchair, By Picasso

Were I to paint
A self-portrait,
There you all would be.

Beneath my face, another
All you nesting dolls
Heaped beneath the sheath.

Seventy fingers entwined
Resting on my manifold thighs
Pointing all directions
Mostly behind.

A pillow breast so large
For all I stashed away and saved
A withered tag slouched
By my arm
For all the whiles I gave.

My body curves
In all directions,
Because muscle remembers
The body’s infections.