Psaltery & Lyre




My nephew says seeing a cardinal means / there’s a soul nearby, so I wonder who’s flitting / from the red oak to the neighbor’s fence / to watch us at this vacation house.

Self-Portrait with Elegy

The fish tank / / hummed, as their fish-eyes bulged into two drunk uncles leering at our / see-thru nightgowns, with flammable gills.

The Neighbors

I needed to be a part of something—anything, a neighborhood—a community, glued together like dark red nail polish dripped dried on white bathroom tile, a messy blob of circumstance reborn.

Ode to my great great grandfather’s five wives

so there was debt / and gratitude / / and duty before / ceremony


On my back / my ears underwater / but not / my mouth    my breath tuned / / a strange subterranean –


In the beginning was the station:/metal axis of rails, streamlined / / tubes of genesis

Magpie Visits Saint Lucy at the Convent for Retired Nuns

Legend says it was Waxwings / that plucked out Saint Lucy’s eyes. / She still carries them around on a platter / like an offering of deviled eggs.

Every House Has its Church

On the morning / of my autistic son’s twentieth birthday / I visit bringing cake and groceries / that he will eat alone / and I wonder if his house will ever have its church.

The Humid Temptations

My father closed his word, laid down the red crayon he used to mark pages, perhaps from Leviticus, For it is the jubilee; it shall be holy unto you: you shall eat the increase thereof out of the field.

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