We filled a shoebox
with dead wasps, leaf blankets,

cut needles shot from pine,
painted the cardboard

black to keep the light
inside. It was a good day,

an ice cube tray
full and cracked and split,

the water shaped to hold
in our mouths. There was no

treasure. Cool liquid
slid down our throats

in the garden. I quizzed
my daughter for her biology

final—all alveoli and exchange
of oxygen. Tomato plants

hummed, fledglings
squawked for their mama’s return,

and the sun blazed dewdrops
to extinction.

World spinning through dark and dark
itself spiraling (yes spiraling!) through the void

future world with both of us gone
that from a distance shone like a star

Science, do not forsake us.
Pretend dying won’t be inglorious

and hard, that we’ll reflect light like gowns
sequined and glittering, various

and continual, shouting out over
time our urgent unimpeded burning.

Pray Like You Mean It

look / we all become our worst stories / this is mine / I went
back / for more / nobody made me do that / I just hated being ignored


aphasia of detail
& human
Here I stand on the street