Bread & Rivers

As you knead
Your eyes distend like rivers
Behind half reflecting glass
Frames marked with the bird foot marks
Of your anxious imposture 
Imprison half your face
As if gulls had fled
The knot between your teeth
As if you could in misered focus
Taste skittish thoughts
In that hard bitten fibrillation
The more piquant
Rank sourness
For a palsied freedom
I do not know how you see
Through that constant pouring
A cattish nonchalance 
Scrape with the axe blade of your hand
At some casual irritation 
The fissile texture 
Of flour on your skin
As if inside, a statue were emerging
Eggshell and porcelain
–Bisque I think they say
Like the soup
Somehow in birthed paleness, lithe
As if the outer self
A thing of frowns and creases
Of variegations more imposited than arranged
Were the shell, the now ossified thing
You have like any wiser being outgrown

Higher Ground

During the floods

We imagined higher ground

How it wassailed us with promised grandeur 

The way wandering philosophers proffer

Stark and mountainous vagaries

That none can ever reach

Except Tensing and Hillary

And the small fawn sparrow

They startled on the crest

When the waters failed to recede

We thought of broader bridges

Crossing vast, immodest swathes

To new and celebratory shores

Isolated but still standing

A wary freeway pass

Animals stymied in their crossing

Despite the crocodile trawl

Of ripples veering from unknown objects

The rent teeth gnawing

An opaque surface

Muck and slick and indolent

As if this ark were of a sudden

A peaceable place

Like in the idylls of latter day saints 

Lambs and lions in repose

Trees garlanded with garbage wreaths

All those broken toys

Subarus, consoles, drowned kites fluttering

Fish in sublimation

Half caught in the turbulence of unexpected freedom

Dead blank star smashed screens

Mired in neon vacancies and silt

Offered up to the entrails of monsters 

From which they were once made

Red as dawn’s blear warning

In hope

Of water’s gone

Transparent as the newly swollen day