the places we visit twist in the wind
like so many deaths freshly made
dogs at the back door preparing to howl

a catalpa leaf bares its teeth, rakes
my face over and over
makes blood flow clear as water

i stand naked in the wind this morning
sky flies backward toward a sun
darker than light can see


like the child up in a tree
staring lost through swarming leaves
your being has entered the dream


squirrel will be killed again yesterday
there on the road—
whose future measured by the number of feeding crows


moon whimpers
harvesters slit the night
father cannot find child in the stubble of the field


the night i wasn’t conceived
still stirs the mind—
blue leaves gently coming loose


the calm face is in another country
another world—
we walk from Ohio to vote for it

the joy of motionless motion
comes after death
when you are the morning every ginkgo leaf falls

traveler sleeps late, hurries away
neighbor outside raking dreams
answer the ringing phone with imbricate possibilities


my face slides off in a November rain
swirls round the circular drain
sucked into the moon

rain before dawn
dawn ends the dream
the rain could be starlings, or not


my skin is old
you can see to anywhere through it

cracks in my ceiling
close themselves to hear
footsteps of moss on the roof

when the fly on the screen
            crawled out of my eye
                        there was an entire world to build


a little sunlight travels
from nowhere outside
lies down in the gutters i clean



the act of alone
is giving birth inside me
she holds one ginkgo leaf in her hand

my silent womb
your useless wings
each life leashed to its unreal binding

she stepped into the water
a stone without skin
felt for the first time cold winds


the distance from every star to here
is here—haar
connects every dark center to dark


concrete sun sinks into ruin
now my roof leaks the sorrow of light
now we must believe in the sleeping mind

just before dawn the sky is slick with ice
one could fall and die
where wild geese are dreaming


of more than can be borne
there are stains—
how else could we come to be

what belongs in the earth
has been give cold wings
not unlike birth without a sound


so i get here slowly
on footsteps half-finished
a maple leaf torn free in the blast

small light in heart
flickers to the stars
remembering for the first time it is lost


a neighbor's sweet gum tree was hollow
and those inside said they never heard more
than the barking of the moon


mother's face multiplied
in numberless drops of rain
till she knows what it is i see

a hard and difficult rain drives us outdoors
as small animals in cages
addressed to fire

four crows named Jesus fly
into a neighbor's naked maple tree—
in white skin death wraps me


i look back at my empty shoes
is how flesh
must leave the sea


brought us all to quiet without warning    no hint of eternity or dust


there is sorrow in the way we breathe :: so many suns half-dead in our hands

where my dreams cross the border    the night sky begins again


no moon hurries the dark cloud home    yet ten thousand morrows slide past

outside of sorrow and silence    not all who shine are among the alive


do we know we really never move away—but what if i close the silence


become that that cannot be returned to    lift up what's left of what the dream spoke


you've had the dream of how heaven is    now can you keep it gone forever


the way and the where of the beginning of all    you were given in last night's dream

the eye above Yellow Springs sees in his own way    that being here has nothing inside


future is memory    hunger is flesh—every day since it has rained

the final word knows    but can't tell what's coming    came from dying far away


small as the first house of soul    if small might save the world

going from death to flesh is to be numberless    thus i have come to life utterly alone


the dreamer opens and shuts like an eye    where animals are burning to sleep

because distance is sad and always of love    there is the forest we cannot lay hold of


the smallest island will come home    make nowhere far away

would it be your first howl roaming the loose wind—what makes you listen


moon is when your hands release    what the corpse leaves behind

the moon they are burning everywhere—now how much nowhere is left inside

from the other side of the light you left    are your windows heavy with snow

river reach    where trout hear me breathe    a deep to follow



blood rising from the smoke of the man i was :: i'll be back in another memory


all things go on in the track left by dust    thus i feel where the dry country wails


when you've salted the sea and schemed what no one attains    i'll tell me who i am


the struggle to fall out of sleep    when dawn is the bed of being someone else


past the past of where i was born    is the September of wanting to take someone there

just these hands in which i cannot stop living the little good    done wrong


in marvelous silence death's seedling grows    and blinds what's hard to know


the cry being crushed is the depth of the dream no one is interested in living

work in the fog of daylight    hardly know who i am in the river of night

how the invisible can begin to hum    is what the maple in my cornfield knows


the field your dreams work knows no light until death scratches an eye


just the mirror that painted her face    there is no one else in my privacy


most beautiful daybreak he ever saw    was a sky created by others


time to fold up the unfinished world    swim away into the night


the bones of my birth fetched a price    became the whisper in another's life


listening in another's arms knows all my heart is made of

deliver me from clothes and skin    from wind and the crow brought in


whose bones in the ocean of today have guided my hand beyond

walk in a small garden that maybe someone came to fear


does the voice of one who is dead gamble away the phantoms one knows

the eyes of the sheet you lowered over your body stop at dawn


more silence in life than life in the universe—sky, at other times

i am back in the house a child would know the instant sky goes to stone


when weeds make me their living path    into a canyon too inessential to follow


i refuse to inherit anything smaller than god's journey through our rooms


from the portrait of the man born a slave    i walk outside of healing

and what if the heart giving birth to the child prefers the hush and the heat of an attic


what lightning remembers will never wound    is the moon returned to its river


leaning over the edge of august    the horn of the wounding moon was true

who is ironweed staggers stars    this hand i dipped in its spring

too dark to tell the sun i have seen where the last garden on earth has run


one chord of light searingly close but you learn the guide that guides the hand

and if i could find my child as a child again in the memory of blue Japanese iris


if i knew the name you called yourself    would that rub sight into my eyes

captives are those who return and return—i am a potato surrounded by mountains


how do we gather whispers of blood as they fall from a buried shadow

from the trees there is a cry, saddled, waiting    is the sound of the dark in our house


why do elderberries continue to dream until each drop of blood returns


keeping things whole in the absence of wind :: here's a body gathering its shell

call of the owl beside a dream :: or a pine taking leave of the night


years pass in a single white blossom    i think no one looks in or out

how is it i know the escape of small winds has answered the prayers in my breath


in the early life of the mother of the rose    you are the one afraid of flowers