Poems of the Week



Mostly Ocean

I have tried to read land,
over and over, holding

onto crags for map, but packs
of hounds chew their tongues

off, lined up like a row
of soldiers, waiting for my first step

onto rocks that bank like
forks. I am hardened by this

living everywhere. At last,
one day I make it onto beach.

When I am inspected, they
discover a likeness of lost,

barnacles of want. I ask:
What is likeness but a desire

to build an empire? I barely
make it through. As I look

back at the sea, I know my body
will always be mostly ocean,

a disease stitched into me.



“…light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light…”

There has to be something said about the darkness,
the way it hides in pockets,
among lint and forgotten dimes
. It waits

for twilight, the first signs of a friend
walking toward you; craving a way out

it settles in
the kiss that changes everything.


White Behaves Generously Despite Its Stately, Unmeddlesome Properties.

Some boys minded red hair. One kissed me
on the ladder. I knew there were birds,

a snake digesting a frog on the front walk,
so we couldn’t get inside. The air stopped

breathing. The sun high but cold.
A german shepherd bit a pretty girl’s cheek.

Men with guns in and out of bushes.
At times hurricanes. My mind went

away. The twins picking sage
and foxglove. Lost chair cushions.

I counted eight dead crickets.
There was a code to it all, a secret

I heard the first night. Beware the ocean
at dawn. A duck dressed as a baby.

The plaid-suited clown sniffling.
The moon yawned preciously.

Someone’s small tongue in the road.


all from Shade 2006: An Anthology of Poetry and Fiction, edited by David Dodd Lee.

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