Your Project Deserves Good Words


I had no idea I was prophesying

When I answered the questionnaire

On where I see myself in fifteen years.

I just scribbled down a few things,

And being in third grade and acutely aware

I assumed by twenty-three I’d meet my wife,

She’d have black hair,

blue shoes,

And she’d hate that a couple days after our wedding

I would be heading into space

To sample moondust,

With my best friend and pilot, Marcus.

I would return a week later,

Having seen the edge of the universe,

And realizing the finiteness that is man,

I’d let Marcus command the subsequent mission,

And I would settle down with my wife,

On an onion farm,

With our fluffy yellow dog,

And become a bazillionaire.


Bevel of A Bell

I have this journal

where I write down words and phrases

in hopes to sneak them into poems.

Words like: chicory, pine nuts, wind-blown.

But now, with no poetry in sight,

I am left with what looks like

mad-man recipes and dream receipts,

and I cannot begin to tell you

how many times I have written

"the bevel of a bell"

to no avail.



To get the tools out and shake the dust,

To feel the socket spin in your hand,

To hear the nails jingle in the box,

And to move the wrenches around until they find their spots,

Is better than a wage some days.

Guatemalan Baby

We had the highest of hopes for you.

Your parents were dead or had abandoned you, an orphan now, but a beautiful child.

You knew no English, which was endearing, your accent was darling, and I am now a father to a Guatemalan baby.

We enrolled you in school, and you excelled in your ESL classes.

How quickly you learned to excuse yourself, 

say our names, and elaborate on your favorite moments of the day.

But now, as you are still sleeping and I am enjoying my coffee, I think of how you are only four, but you will age and lose that enchanting voice and exchange it for one far too familiar-- one that sounds like mommy's and daddy's.

Aisle of Sweets



Today I imagined your death
The last breath and white linen,
Screens and machines
Pulsing you into a nice sleep.

The wife of my youth
Now one of an old relic,
Yet in this thought, your skin,
Still fair and taught and lovely,
And mine, reaching towards the linoleum.

One of us had to be first,
pioneering futures and heavens
And I'm glad it was you,
For it's never nice to be the one at home
While the other is on vacation.

So I am left to my late walks
New balance sneakers,
White shoe polish,
And making sure the pooch
Gets out to the yard in time,

With half the dishes to do
And half the joy to do them,
Small meals at the tv,
Mostly coffee and the occasional peach,
Wondering who you've met,
And what magic I might be missing,

While I drive the sedan to get dog chow
And walk through the aisle of sweets
Constantly wondering what would sound good to you this time.

But this thought is a daydream,
After seeing an old man jogging
As I drive home to you making dinner,
With a bag of red licorice-your favorite.