It’s ten at night & a Russian Orthodox
casket cover leans on the stairway wall

beside a three-wheeled, bright yellow
stroller, which normally blocks half

the outer entranceway & into which
some callous resident throws trash—straws,

flyers, empty cigarette packs, receipts—
until one day a note appears instead,

& reading it, our Kyrgyz friend is hesitant
to translate, then whispers, If you again

put trash into my child’s stroller, may God’s
wrath visit you
, & ever after, I’ve felt the narrow

passage beside the stroller widen & widen.

"Almost" and Two Poems

the whale doesn’t move // the sea fills its stomach // with things that cannot sing


I doubt these empty pockets
could produce a grave
or plot of land
or shovel—my fingers
cannot penetrate this
scorched, mountainous earth:
and always,
there is hunger.

Last Boat Home

Why not jump in / and swim back to that place? We came from // the water.