Ode to my Hands

The aspidistra waits for you, my lank
…………tapering collections of osseous links,
to bring it water, and the piggy bank
….….squats on its metal legs in its moss-pink
enamel coat and waits for you to sluice
….a fortune, coin by coin, in through its back.
….….The just-used drill-bit waits for you to coax
….….….the keyless chuck loose
and tease it free; the filaments of milk
….….….are slopping patiently inside the goat.


After a dream of Italy, I wander,
gaping unsweetly at a garden vine.
I should unpin and carry in the laundry
before it rains, but Italy unpins
time: a tendril roams in dopey motion,
a half an inch an hour, blind and slow,
unfurling towards a thing it doesn’t know
isn’t there. I sleep, I wake, I stare,
seeing, somehow, the Ponte Vecchio,
and seeing you, my susurrating satyr,
my incandescent glossolaliac,
seeing again your hieroglyphic face—
the rain unlocks its petrichor and patter—
the vine and I grow wild into space—

Song for the Women Poets

after A.E. Stallings

Where do you go from here,
eyes wet as the weather,
kid slippers coming unstitched
as puddles eat at the leather,

soles scraped by stepping stones,
scalp sore from brushing;
where do you go from here,
limp-limbed and flushing?

Having left the raveled stockings
tied to the darning egg,
having left the hopsack apron
sagging on its peg,

having left the mixing bowl
loaded with rising dough
and the flour spilled in a farewell note
on the counter, where do you go,