Doves, Brooklyn, NY
Life on the Prairie
Why do we stay here, sleeping on a dwarf
dream, the subtitles shaky, waking to fish
for loose change? I’d like to go inside nowwhere it’s warm and you never know
what’s next. Under the Big Top
of my mobile home, a survival kit’s included. It’s a real time-saver, what’s more,
it works — I’m spared the spectacle
of the chapped, you know, the portable sky. Inside we have our own dome, sugar
doughnuts, and the outline of an escape.
I don’t find that comforting. But it beats
sleeping on the knife. The meadowlark has
just one song. Clearly, we hear what we’ve
missed. I live here anyway, in a landscape
shaped like it’s impossible to end.
The Founding of Friendship, Texas
The burial of Anna, age six months,
First dead in the new land,
Was a cause for celebration.
Not only had her soul—they saw it!—
Risen with a flock of scissortails
To join Mary's virgin train above,
But they knew, being gamblers also
On the fleshy souls of cotton and maize,
That she did not, in fact, rise
But burrowed into the black soil
To mingle with eternity here.
After a year of traveling, the family
Could finally stop, for the love of Anna
And the promise of the land
She had become, land that rose so slightly
At the San Gabriel River,
Where the only trees in sight
Shimmer a string of emeralds
On the dusty breast of Friendship, Texas.
Fools of Time
At seventeen Mary placed her satin dress beside us on the table,
Then she smiled at me and we did the best that we were able.
Back on the dance floor, she seemd to hang in the air like an angel
We were fools for love, making a fool out of time.
Soon I left town because I fell in love with leaving,
And Mary married some boy she thought that she could believe in.
back on the dance floor would could know what we were seeking:
We were fools for love, now we’re just the fools of time.
Last year Mary jumped from a hotel outside of Nashville.
With her dress blown out she must have seemed like an angel of disaster—
Maybe now she knows the things that we were after.
We were fools for love, now we’re the fools of time.