stinkbug

There is a stinkbug
on the wall.

I watch it flutter
and think it
groans

with

each flap
of his armored wings
prepped for flight
fight and

There is a cat who
watches the wall.

A predator stalking
her prey;
ready.

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a child’s first funeral (or pet cemetery)

Fred died
and then Mommy cried
for heaven.

Grandma Helen
rests in our backyard

a crib of fleas
and the color red

wagging tails paint
a child’s first funeral

and their makeshift
tombstones of brick
and mortar
briar.

“you only put butterflies under a pin if they’re not you.”

pinned under a magnifying
glass tall and sweet with
sweaty fingers,
there is a fire

it burns in your eyes
and smoke catches in you
your hair; a nest

a story for butterflies
whose wings dance
in the spot

light on a darkened stage

you, a cornucopia

and yes,
cocooned.

Recipe for Matzo Ball Soup

1.

To prevent baseballs in your soup,
you must burn.

I think that I was
sunburnt for forty years
and then infinity.

2.

Once burnt, cut off your blackened
edges, and proudly wear your
tattered corners.

I wonder how quickly change
brews, if I need to let it
sit so it absorbs everything
properly.

3.

From these former tribes, pick
your corner and bury it.

Widespread, our roots spread
like batter on parchment,
paper dolls who rip themselves
in poppy-seeded desert wind.

4.

Water your seeds with care;
they should never learn
how easy it is to drown yourself.

My father taught me to swim
when I was two and one,
afraid to dive
and had yet learned to stand
on my own.

5.

Your sapling will grow apple seeds
and grape vines and
salted egg bread and
bitter herbs.
You will harvest a heavy heart
because there are things that
cannot be forgotten.

I think I want to plant
an apple tree on Jupiter,
on its sunburnt eye.
But a tree is a commitment
of five and thirteen years.

6.

Take your livelihood and
dump it in the pot.
Stir until your blood boils.

There are songs we sing
and fabrics we weave
and so many things that
I think our universe is
bigger on the inside.

Six points on blues notes
scatting between triple braided
compressions and repressions and
an ill-reformed shield are
all I know to be home.