The election happened and now you’re driving north.November freezes in the birch trees. The fieldshave nothing left. In Wisconsin where you pass themthe hills go rolling autumn through the cold.
Exhausted, this light.It was supposed to shinepiercingly brightset the roof ablazemelt the fire escapespark mica in the wallsinge a rat’s whiskersin its hole.But side-swiped by a taxi door
Life may not be as bleak as it seems.
The hurried seasons—spring, summerand fall—may plow into winter’s caboose, send it vamoosing.
Asking peopleWhat happens to them after they dieIs like asking babies in the wombWhat happens to them After they’re born—How can they answerWhen they don’t even know
the laser brush we watchedburn soot off the gownof an ancient kore
the Delphic light, siftedthrough the nets of the godsto fall on us
a cold wet compress to her foreheada brisk rub and warm breath on her pale little handsa shiver her eyes blink twice then openspring comes around slowly
Yesterday morning I’m pretty sure it was yesterdayI started walking along the beach toward someone whowould meet me at my destination. Where it was orwho it was I can’t remember off the top of my head.
Cancer is not a ringing bell,a queen of spades. Cancer is notyour mother’s hand-me-down, strung likepearls along the lymph nodes,smoky quartz clustered in the caving lung,
I’m sitting on a park bench noodling linesfrom a Billy Stayhorn song, Somethingto Live For, “watching the noon crowds,”when a woman bumps me with her hip.“How are you,” she asks, and I choke
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Wisconsin Academy Administrative Offices and Steenbock Gallery
1922 University Avenue
Madison, Wisconsin 53726
James Watrous Gallery of the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts & Letters
3rd Floor, Overture Center for the Arts
201 State Street
Madison, WI 53703