Do You Think They Know?

Let me ask you this:
Do you think it will ever
come knocking, the second wind
that powers all the boats?
Will it rattle all our hinges
and make every hair stand out
on even the most distant arms?
Do you think they know,
the ones who send us
everything inevitable,
setting off a whistling
somewhere in our bones?

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All My Beads Tumble Back into the Box

Don’t worry —
I can do it again,
this magic trick
of the mind.

It’s not like
there’s a daily limit
or

a penalty for having
paused. I can do it
again, another bead
on the string,

and another.
Every day,
my string

is cut; all my
beads tumble
back into
the box

where I keep them.
Every day, the same
box with different

beads — slightly
different — and
every day, I race
to string them

before time runs out.
That’s what I’d like
you to think, but

the truth is,
there are days
when I don’t
look inside.

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Weird News

A large cockatoo roams inside my head,
saying words that only I understand.
I believe it has chosen me
for some type of mission,
but its larger plan is, as yet,
unknowable, unknown
as its canny, nictitating eye.
I feel its clawed, leathery toes
grasping my medulla oblongata.
It tells me, repeatedly, rasping,
that it is as smart as
a two-year-old human child.
Well, so am I. So am I.

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Something About How You Looked in My Mirror

But I do appreciate that you tried,
and I’ll show you to your car.
You can ride off into the night
with a tale you can only tell
yourself: something about
how you looked in my mirror,
how we ate the papers, too,
not just the cupcakes of life,
and you always hated my dog, or
I never had a dog, but I did
once make you a cicada sandwich
because you said you wanted
to try something new.

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A Lesser Pot to Put Our God Thoughts In

I’ll be jiggered if she didn’t figure
it out — which way the creek runs
when it’s almost high and dry.
The bones inside stones, how to shape
birds out of clay, breathe on them
to make them live. She’s like
some kind of god, or a lesser pot
to put our God thoughts in.
She has flaming eyes, even though
her fever broke two weeks ago.
We don’t know whether to kill her,
run her out of town, or keep her
as one of our own. But we’re
bound to do one of those things,
and we said we’d choose tonight.

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