Six short poems written on six cold days


Some write for noise
for the naming of two dimensions only
but calling a spade a spade
limits the metal’s sculpture
the handle’s wood and its life on the hillside
the ore of the blade inside the same earth
brought with rivets like slaves
across unimaginable country
to another place of mine
to lie fused and break soil
as though birds fed on the bones of themselves
their mothers and feral blood.


I stand as the stork
or some veteran
giving birth to the war of myself
on one leg.


I am the only native
living in this city
of myself
trying now at last
to return to my home village
a house and a hut
the simple earth.


To wish in two ways
at one time
is both wise and untrue
whole and otherwise
to want is to need
you should never be.


My body bends
as the mathematic curve
we bought as other boys
bent stiffly
a wire through its middle
until tested too far and become broken.


The letters of love
are four like the compass
pulled free in all directions
each true in light
while in darkness (at best
south, north, east, and west)
we become lost.
I am overwhelmed by these differences
and within them their simplicity.


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