This Strange Skin


All gene ready

swimming fish in formation

this grafted river pool

this tide flow incredible

gulping like thick water

at the aperture

inky near black

minnows nip the muscle

all molecule.


Tide pull back

the deep breath in

drowning in oxygen

flip impossible

inverted completeness

all rib and smooth crackle

this life heat

push forward

into generation.


The rip and weep of it

the sonar

all alien melt water

all friction

this strange skin

presses the tide

pulse and form of it

river swell and sea weight

the hush and cry.






The paragraph where I fall in love

is written, published, distributed

has sat all papery and lush on the shelves

for some years now – but has been read a loud

and sounded out so the words are

round like the moon and just as full

but reflected, now, like so much light.


It is the tang and spring of the garlic in our food

the surprising sweetness in the nip of it

papery and cloven the hooves of it across our floor

like so many feet in the night

searching out the warmth we make

for heat that shatters across the tastebuds

is grown on the good stuff

filled the mattress with its outer layers

falling off and falling.


I will write you poems on fault lines of

this fruiting body

I will drink your breath ’til dawn when you turn in your sleep

and face away from me

I will inscribe all the tiny events

into the curve of the skin

and peel it peel it

the paragraph when I fell in love

in minute letters all over again.



The earth mother around the corner

gave permission for the women of our street to let down the blood.

The plum blossoms turned pink

and children found surprising beetroot soup in their dinner bowls.

The week stretched into wine glasses

all fossiky with the dregs.

Matriculated, the weekend scratched at the surface of things

until they became blistered and curled

busted up offerings of paper parcels

that over and overed in the garbage strike

each one etched with sacred mess;

life giving has come to this:

bury it and sound no alarm.

The goddess built for comfort, not speed

shakes her great wide girth.



T's HandsIn your high beam love

diamonds wilt –

this scrabbling in the soil

mining for things –

you have read their names in books

and found your own pronunciation

breaking down to atoms yourself

you say ‘hello love’

to each of them

while you turn it in your hands.