fall apart, blind alleys turn cursive and unreadable, houses become

labyrinths and children cry in cages. In our country we make lists:


what to buy at the grocery store, which dust cauldron we clean today,

how many of the homeless die of neglect. There is something pale written


on the back of my hand. A map. Or the word sea. Or only the blue veins

of my own existence. I sit on the couch and think about climate change,


believe in the dazzle of young girls, in the waggle of sunflame

on upturned faces. On my list of things to do today, six items.


There is a chance I will neglect them all. My heart is a salt bag that bursts

where water tongues the beach. In our country the sinewy branches


of trees cry. I am guilty of living in a house of boards. My table once

tree. My desk. My hands like birds. Everywhere feathers. And yet


I move through the escape-route-width day, unclip my mind.

The weather channel says no rain, only wool clouds, stern wind,


long, slow blowing air, come to rest in clipped grass, to spin again,

dispassionate, over the ruined rooftops of our country.