These works have previously appeared in the chapbook, Residual Heat (2014) and on the author's blog, rinsemiddlebliss.com, in 2017.
Like Two Dogs Dancing
He turns into the comforter of rain,
no umbrella or hat, just the quilted
sidewalk. The spume from wheels passing
through the deep puddle by the stopped
storm drain arcs into the wet air
like the last blood of his black dog
that as a child he once neglected to tie up,
hit by the back wheel of a parked Fiat
unseen until the car started and its blood
waved like a fox tail, like the tail of another
dog, a red dog playing with the black dog,
wrestling in the rutted red-clay road
until the black dog fell exhausted.
Airplanes Over the Bog
In response to Brigit Pegeen Kelly’s “The Pear Tree”
Bagno. The name means bog.
The village may have been a bog
before the drainage ditches
gridded it into kolkhoz.
Crop dusters buzz in the cloudy sky--
always cloudy over Bagno,
always muddy at the kolkhoz gate
where the people’s tractor
shudders diesel smoke through a soot-blacked chimney.
Cloudy sky like a black and white
newsreel from WWII
where an airplane buzzes low,
and drops a finned black bomb
like a soda fountain cartridge
and a child runs with a black mouth
open but inaudible over the buzz. The bomb
does not hum, does not hiss, does not cry,
and I can’t tell in the black and white film
if the child’s mouth is full of shadows or blood.
In the fields black molehills
erupt like impact craters,
but we never see the blind
My cousin’s model airplane
burns fuel oily and metallic,
buzzes above us in the cloudy field,
flies to the edge of radio range,
then out of range
down into the calamus,
into the cattails, into the wet edge
of the black pine forest seeping night,
and burrows its lacquered nose in peat.