The Return

On the day she returned
the Tigers played Regionals two counties north
and Queequeg leapt hugely
out of his coffin.

Friday fourth period English
half-empty, unpopulated by cheerleaders,
band members, and now
forever the quarterback,

we coughed and tittered,
jittery with discussion of nothing: whiteness,
whaleness, whale innards,
and outwards

she looked in general
similar, only dark circles instead of eyeliner,
and she left only twice to cry
or else to be briefly

elsewhere. To be again
on a Friday afternoon looking forward
instead of back to those last
imperfect words

Saying It

The Getty

We ride the train up to the museum on the hill
and you point everywhere but yourself:
an actor’s house; mimosa trees; the crescent

of distant ocean; Downtown Los Angeles.
Down there, a Little Tokyo street performer
is telling someone about his snowman screenplay.

Down there, your baby daughter is with the man
you won’t ever truly leave behind. Last night
she touched everything new, asking, This? This? This?

and you made patient introductions: chopsticks,
purse, Anne-Marie. When I first introduced
my future husband to my family, Uncle Dan asked him

Close to Home

The Menlo Park Police Department live-tweets updates
and we find out everything we’ve slept through:
Suicidal subject. Barricaded in home. Shots fired. Avoid area.

Our street’s closed and we can’t leave the house.
As usual, we refresh for the latest, thumbs tapping
their frantic Morse against the general feeling

of helplessness. Yesterday, we drove to the coast
on a whim, it was so nice out, stopping to watch
the harbor seals stretch their giant bodies, sunning

themselves on the rocks like underworked divas,
without a thought that someone somewhere—
in the Craftsman around the corner, for example—