November 13, 2019KR OnlinePoetry

Three Poems


One man bought a gazebo and some screen
and white doves numbering in the dozens.

He started a dove-release business. Of course
he didn’t charge, he did it all for free,

and when he walked up with his cages,
wedding guests, their hands at first to their

mouths, and then down and open in wait
to receive what he had for them, a trembling

life, that gesture was such the offering, blowing
kisses toward him. And what loneliness

couldn’t be put asunder when in the night
they flew back always always to him.



I’ll build a house with a dozen skylights,
give each a vacancy sign spinning
like a weathervane. Buy cars with oversized
windshields. Skip rocks so cracks flatline
across their fields of vision. This is how
the dead get in. I’ll clear acres of land,
a controlled burn, just for the mist,
a ghost’s most hospitable environment.
And all the money in the world will,
in fact, bring you back. With the loves
of the lives, even the heat-stroked
carriage horses, the finless sharks,
I’ll wait for your number to be called.
Neon rain on the skylights like applause.



Phyllis at the DMV bought a ticket after being struck by lightning. Not Phyllis at window A8, Phyllis at A7. She’d stood alone on the golf course holding a metal pole, and a tall woman anyway. That same day, a shark attacked her. She wore yellow, after all. Swam at night covered in blood. She brushed the storm grate of its gills, thrashed and screamed, just as she had with the mountain lion and the asteroid. In her kitchen Phyllis A7 fed her prize-winning peppers to a deadly hippo as it cracked the ceramic tiles and pondered dragging her back to its stream. One chance in two million. On her flight to collect her winnings, the dead-stick plane falling quiet as the plague, she knew she’d never be a saint, nine million to one. But on the way down she did end up an astronaut. Through the window, her elbow somehow grazed an icy ring, and Phyllis knew to whisper Saturn to the empty seats beside her, the farthest reaches of her loneliness. Saturn, the god of the harvest, every varietal of squash: the delicata, the crookneck, the acorn, the fairytale.