Thursday, March 17, 2011


That morning,
as the news chattered

about broken records
we discovered the sandbox

––a haven for all things
static and plasticized––

frozen solid. The arms
of plastic men beckoned.

The maples bent over
with interest and ice.

With a few hours of work,
the action figures could have been

drying on the dish rack,
Spider Man dwarfed

by the china platter,
The Hulk roaring

face down into the dish towel,
but the howling alarm

from across the street
of a car impaled

by a fallen tree limb
shook us instead

into discovering
how difficult it is to tell

the difference between
shattered glass and ice.

Thursday, March 03, 2011


There is also the matter of my uncle,
who, after the crash, was found

to have bent the steering wheel
around its steady column. His arms

are slack now, the skin loose, room
for so much more than is there,

but that day, so my aunt tells it,
the ring of the wheel curved in

on itself, like a taco shell, she always
says––for this is not the first time

we have heard the story; waiting
room, funeral home, church,

a podium facing lacquered pews––
weather always the same bone-

dry desert wind and a cloud of dust
that scuds onto the road, obscuring

the telephone pole like clockwork.
This is where we, having known

him, still manage to expect some
casual line, I'll be goddamned, when in fact

he was clearly blessed, but no matter
the repetitions, the story always ends

the same way: steering wheel bent
with his own two hands, hands that opened

the twisted door of the old truck,
brushed the glass from his shirt.