At the Edge of the Haze

A woman closes her eyes atop a trestle.
The sun reaches in to touch her heart.
She moves and the gathered crowd
gasps at her decision to become a tourist.
A small freshness opens her shadow to flight.
The colors of her drop were


A first step in her wandering.

Everyone wants to stop her, hold her, keep her
from that sunny plateau above the sea,
where her parents will keep her, next to the boy
she met last year among the roses, who went
away to war. He stands beside her now,
puts out his hand. A Wander with him?
she let herself think, but this was no time
for thinking.


Three times I awoke without a sense of continuity.
Three times I emptied myself until I was no longer opaque;
Transparent in the eyes of the world, which stared but could not see me.
Three times the strength went out of me and my head twisted around
So I no longer knew my way, with nothing left but to fall.
When I say I want to die, that is how I ask,
Is there no place here in this wide world for me?
Nearly a month I hobbled along, doctors scratching their heads:
“We know what it isn’t and that is all we dare say to you.”
Three times I consulted but they could add no more for me.
Three times I barely existed in the bed she kept for me.
Three times made and unmade in a dream—I walk away.
Sorry to leave and even more sorry to stay away.

Abecedarian for Poets Who Speak

All the world calls to you:
Be the poet we need.
Can you not shine a little magic on us?
Delve into your lexicon for something special?
Each of you writes more future than we ever
find in our grocery lists—with your verse, we
gain words to build by:
mutual aid,
peace and a
quest for
right action and a
sound heart.
Tell us, poets, how we go forward, how do we
undermine this exclusionary world,
open the veins of bigotry,
wipe away the filth of hatred,
xerox the loveliness of brother/sister hood,
yearn for everything to be better here and—
zap the voices down who call out otherwise.