Cemetery Charles

Flying in from three Americas, cruder
contours’ rotted contents, rooting jokes

to puzzles,

dimmer, the latest comprehending body:
Chief Librarian of Oswiecim. What do you

call…how does a…how many will it take…

damned (redbelly) pouch. Moroccan salt-
curl, taffy twisters, pealing knells, early

reprieve and hormonal catalogs with sex,
and sound. Checking off, checked off,

the classified patience of East Amwell

desires a nightless sleep at home-tables,
a radiating thought overturning skulls by

Hamsun’s pale harbor companion, handling,
reported the fact of his thirst;

peaked isolation of her headscarves’
framing.

Stairwell Number

A large, red-grey twist of paper topics,
basted in liquid, sweat, chimney, smoke,

and folktales—lead, miniature, unthinking
filling a pocket false, adjudicating

a length

of denim dungarees. The form taken, set
atop a form ungiven, as charcoal swipes

down hard, revealing this commitment, dark
below a narrowing slate, aboard the hospital

corridor’s sloop, worthy, yet by an abstruse
series of monographs—aborted, a season

of line at my index fingertip moves fallen

in faith, petitioning, imagining blessing,
properties all too tenuous for the bearing

of a mournful song.

Cheers

Li Bai and Du Fu, two poets who have never
been through my kitchen, crest then reside

on recent earth, scratching out claims to
stand above, scrubbing away at some

tumult, a whole afternoon long drinking in
Heaven—fighting back, and against

black Plutonic dogs, ‘where do the chilly
winds don’t blow?’ remains an outstanding

question, halving answers to figure easily
into the ferment of a solution.