Radio Flyer


I had a dream you bought a new wagon,

red and sleek, Radio Flyer in white

across the side.


I filled it with flowers, ran it across prairie hills,

zigzagged between bison and Indians,

and cowboys leaning on saddle horns.


I floated on pea-green rivers—

fish silhouetted in mushroom blue—

and off into the sea,


where waves sparked and shone

in shark phosphor and coral spike.


I woke, wheels a-squeak in prairie grass,

I pulled into sunset and down into a valley,

basement dark and dank.


Behind, wildflowers glowed

between the tracks of my Radio Flyer,

a map of the way back to you.

down from billings


It was prophesied that Kronos, king of the gods, would lose his throne to his son, just as he had taken rule from his own father. To vacate the prophesy, Kronos swallowed his children at their birth. But Rhea, his wife, saved one boy by giving Kronos a stone to swallow instead and spiriting the redeemed boy to Crete. As an adult, Zeus overthrew Kronos and imprisoned him on Tartaros in a deep pit. Centuries later, Zeus had mercy on his father, released him from his prison and put him on the throne of Elysium.


he lifted his chin, profile with mountain teeth

and breathed a breath, a little flit of a sound

loud as butterfly wing


down the divide at the wheel of the dodge,

he grew louder—was heard in winds

that ratcheted along knuckly ridges,

white as bones


eyes afire, bow-strong in the shoulder,

arms like knotted rope, hands like blacksmith tongs

big enough to wrap my head, all and then,

as if banished, none


separated from my father,

i have seen the mountains again

they aren’t nearly as big

their teeth not as sharp

the air not as clear


and he’s grown small,

frame crooked as an old door,

he limps, hair grayed, arms weak,

back bowed, he mumbles about weather

his eyes dark and cold


The nurse


Charts and forms, she says,

are greater burdens than pulling people

from festering messes of gangrene

and cancers and bacteria,

tragedies that will never catch me.


She leans over a microwave bowl

at the nurse’s station for a midnight meal,

eyes blurred by ink.


I will be saved by this woman

who reads between the lines.


The Buddha, 39th and Main


Eyes closed, breath in gentle waves,

his hands rest on knees

raised from the sidewalk

on cement-dusted boots.


In jangles of humanness, salty and ripe,

quiet panics, sudden shouts,

heat brushes off the street in puffs—

he is cool stillness.


Wrist watches gandered and tapped,

feet click pavement, shuffle in the heat—

Detached from desire, suffering ends.

The concrete is warm, the bus has come.

Nutrition facts


In my diet-cola dream life—

tanned, fast-carred, DVD’d , G-strung,

siliconed and lipo’d, all low-sodium,

without calories, no carbs or protein—

my percent daily values

based on a 2,000 calorie diet

(with phenylalanine and potassium benzoate

to protect flavor)

bring me to the the mirror

where I want to see taut skin and ribs,

bulging biceps, pecs like butterfly wings.

Instead, I understand total fat.




great grandpa pulls chin high

as if for a blow—derby tipped back,

eyebrows up, shirt buttoned to the collar


but for the smile, he’s lost in men and boys

draped over the ropes and along the ring

with fists cocked, faces chiseled and cinched


a wisp of sepia smoke

rises from his cigar;

his suspenders snap

as powder lights the room