Finding a Lack

My head in a basket
My head like a tennis ball
My head bouncing over next to your head
My head opening like a cherry blossom or like a cherry, rotten
My head rolling itself down at night like a metal shop grate
My head trying to make its own sweetness, finding a lack
My head knocking on your back door
My head borrowing a cup of sugar from you, my neighbor head

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But Today, It’s Enough to Be Near a Window

If you believe at 5:00 p.m.
some pink light on the eastern horizon,
then maybe you are no longer sick,
vomiting out of habit, hot and timeless
under a Hudson Bay blanket
with its six slash marks
to show you are a queen. If you believe
the light in the sky, maybe your whole family
can march forward now, ready for life again,
no longer bringing the inside to the outside
in such disgusting ways. Someday, you’ll deal with
the bathroom
(and other places, too),
but today, it’s enough to be near a window
when the sky goes pink, and here you are,
a witness once again.

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The Neighborhood

Come to the tree of make believe, my little owl.
Nestle at the feet of this princess, this lady
in a crown of long brown hair. We can always
ride this trolley; nothing ever goes away,
even after you turn off the TV. It’s still there–
just like you, it can’t slip down the drain.

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How Things Change

How have things changed in the past five years?
That’s the million-dollar question of the day.
But it all seems arbitrary, the ways we mark
a spin around the sun. Maybe I leave behind
particles of myself each time, like the lint,
the soapy grime that coats all washing machines
eventually. Maybe I can learn this trick:
how not to change, how to run in the woods
somewhere, forever, or until I drop, unheralded,
and with no way to measure my age or
whether I look good or bad for it.

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These Gifts

You bring me live butterflies
on pins,
for me to wear as earrings,
a pie made of sparrows
so I can eat flight.
Everything unmanageable
made suddenly so,
bees with their wings stuck fast
in sugar water
or their own honey.
What am I to say about these gifts?
Who will help me put back these stars?

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