Having known this dock since childhood
I know the first section is nearly infinite;
Fish after fish after star were born there
And my shadow grew out over the water.
I know the second section is truly infinite
Because we fished in the eye of the sun.
I know the oldest, infinitely infinite section,
Mid dock after the second oldest
Broke free in a storm and was re-attached,
Was like fishing in another dimension,
Existing between two places that can’t exist.

Ring Boxes

With miniature gold latches
Engraved for treasury doors of diminutives,
You open them after many years,
All that’s left are rings of dust, a teardrop of light.

All that’s left is a tiny cleft,
A soft bed where a pearl was bled,
And a mirror under the lid
Which opens like its own jewel.


When I picture my mother in her thirties in a red dress
Swooning to Mario Lanza’s Granada
On 78rpm, my memories sound
With forgotten revolutions per minute
Turning to roses and laughter and dance steps,
Turning to Europe in the vast sunset of war
And the static of questions childhood could not form,
As history ate through the grooves
With crackles and bomb blasts
And the beauty that cannot last, but does.

Oh Scissors

This is how I remember scissors:
Scissors in my father’s hand,
Cutting the Medusa’s head to survive.

Scissors in my grandmother’s hand
And drapery falling to the floor
Like shreds of the longest nights of war.

Scissors in my mother’s hand
And butcher’s string bleeding
Between her fingers.

Pairs multiply in my mind:
Nail and moustache scissors;
Thinners and shapers…

Also garden shears, pruners and loppers;
Scissors for grape stems and twine,
For snipping the threads of the stars, one by one.