He’d told her “This is not a lovesong”
but of course it was,
that was the thing of it:
What isn’t, is,

as though defined
by some discovered theory
(there are no new theories,
only things that have taken

more or less long to figure out).
The further one approaches the edge,
the closer one is to its opposite,
if only because of some

-as yet unknown-
proof of what purity really means.
“That’s what love is,” he said
laying back there

in the middle of an ordinary house,
in an ordinary moment also,
“purity’s percentage,”
and he burst into simple flames

because of the thought,
which was unlike any he’d had previously
and thus quite impossible
to make into a shape he could recognize.

Later there was a police show,
but he was pretty much asleep by then.


What is clearly seen
can only be so
for the slightest moment
and neither can it be decided
at when such moments will come
or be granted.

The circumstances of sight
as though recipe
or luck aligned
are to the obviate

The ray appears
traveling suddenly, never linear
and is gone
before the grasp closes.

Leaving us briefly
between clarity and confusion
and then we shower.


What is evidentiary in absence
what remains for the clerk’s thick eye
but the rustle of nothingness
suggesting guilt in every chair unfilled
every pillow unemployed.

In need of mitigation
(that sly friend of regret)
the guilty man talks, confesses
his own voice obdurate, obscure
confirming his silence
in a sentence of the soul
-some insecure penitentiary-
which holds without parole’s prospect
the substance of our hearts.


that theater of the mind
waits in rags
exhausted by its task,
for once overwhelmed by truth
it has but a single word
with which to name its enemy: