ENCLOSURES

 

a  kind of  burial   yet
the   body  already  a
gray   of   snow   and
paper    we     waited
till      october     that
called   for  rain   but
did    not    rain    the
church   empties   in
what          directions
time  someone  must
be         called         to
salvage  the    garden
the   radio   died  but
wasn't broken
silence   becomes   a
house  sometimes  if
the  interior   has  no
shape   what     color
music      swells    up
the    staircase    and
coffee   was    spilled
she             preferred
chopin     to    dinner
parties   a   book   of
butterflies  presents
an      occasion      as
paper   folds  denote
an       erasure     her
absence     on      the
courthouse      steps
when         shredded
pages       composed
the air  and answers
secretkeeping   as  a
sea     the   smell   at
dusk   of   cordwood
and  I had  not had a
drink  in  almost two
years     each      wall
represents
suggestions    of     a
stranger   cancer   is
not               diabetes
anymore   one  does
not     manage     but
you  are  also  afraid
to    fly    the   drugs
stopped      working
photographs do not
suffice     the     first
time   anyone   ever 
used      the     word
necrotic        though
I've  never  seen  an
owl    fifth    avenue
was  empty and the
sky  can  a  thing be
too     blue     where
nothing  echoes  by
august  who   could
tell the  egret  from
a  heron  I  can  still
feel  the   bones   of
her      touch       the
nurses   smiled   the
children          didn't
quite      understand
and  headed   to the
beach   we  all  have
nicknames     words
exhaust    a      body
now       a         body
thought                or
remembered
months             later
sometimes she dies
again in  my  dream
a    presence    both
before    and    after
rivers   dreamt   the
sea   to    synonyms
for   the   unsayable
even                when
sleepless       things
drown  she  always
said  unthaw  when
she  meant   defrost
no one  else  in  the
house  used pencils
waiting    draws    a
fine      line       from
evening to  evening
broken         pottery
broken  tulip  other
regrets   snow  falls
in              measures
recognizing us now
whereas  the  poem
regrets       needing
words  she couldn't
keep    an      orchid
alive      trying      to
articulate a shadow
stillborn           hour
baffled    hush     of
books no one  puts
ornaments          up
anymore  the smell 
of pine opens like a 
hand  it   happened
quietly                the
temperature   of   a
last  breath  in  bed
when  an   hour   is
not  yet a fable  the
making        of       a
farewell   is   like  a
lilac  and  perfectly
still   more  than   I
can   imagine  goes
unsaid thus shapes
a poem around the
silence              that
matters  if belief is
untenable    if   the
weather a memory
this is how  long  it
takes to get warm .

 

 

TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN

 

Your gums are receding. You should make an appointment. You should smile less. We've noticed one of your toenails is eroding. And there's mildew around the kitchen sink. Try not to burn the coffee again. You used to take such care. Your side of the bed is a mess. Is that a leaf? A kind of berry? Speaking of rutted and round, you use the word moon in your poems too much. Can you find another word for this? There are books full of synonyms. We can send you a link. And this unwillingness to spend any money makes it very hard to see at night. We think your glasses need to be checked. Don't drive after 6 pm or write poems in earnest. The post-its on your bedside table are always blank in the morning. Do you not have ideas anymore? Don't blame insomnia. Don't blame the dog. A recent line of yours sounded awfully familiar. We suspect you might have stolen it from someone. This is unmistakably lazy, even if it was taken from yourself. We don't like your titles any more than you do. Can you make them more exciting? Look at movie titles. Try more sequels. Things that end in numbers, especially 2 or 3. No one sees the fourth one. Last night you undercooked the fettuccini, whereas usually it's overcooked. We decided not to say anything because you looked overheated. And yet you are always cold. Do you need more iron? Are you perhaps anemic? You should make an appointment. As for imbalances, the pictures you hung are all crooked. This is not lyrical or experimental. Don't blame the foundation. The walls are not crooked. You should get your eyes checked. It's been suggested that you worry too much. This makes it hard to hear. And please be less abstract. People like things. Try a wheelbarrow, maybe yellow or blue. Try things that are easy to grip and carry, like folding chairs or hammers. Or not hammers. You tend to hit your thumb. Is this making you uncomfortable? Please stop wanting to be somewhere else. Stop romanticizing thunderstorms and the complicated shoes you used to wear. Stop listening to music that makes you nostalgic. Macdougal St was a bad time. And Bedford Ave doesn't remember you. You throw most of your work into the trash these days. At least empty it periodically. Have you apologized yet for stealing all those pills? Even if it was a long time ago, you still need to say you're sorry. You're not capable of doing two things at the same time. The toast burned as you got the mail. We think you've killed your orchid. Vast is not a verb, you should know. And what about your handwriting? Your f's look like broken fish hooks and your m's like squashed grapes. Are you trying to be evasive? This can be very frustrating. You are wearing those flannel pajama bottoms too often. Sometimes in the middle of the day. Sometimes you stand in the yard in them, just standing there, not even watering the grass or the ficus. Sometimes you just stand there in the middle of the room. Please make an appointment.