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The Devil in the Clock

From the June/July 2008 Print Edition

You come to me in thick old roots of night While trucks are changing gears, although you kiss Like a slack orchid tongue in Cairns, and I Can’t make you out, and so you call to me At afternoon in a light rain when dreams Go whirling in Saigon under wet heat So I can hear your voice, although . . . . Continue Reading »

The Better Part of Valor

From the May 2008 Print Edition

A would-be body-surfer, eight years old, he fell in with the ocean’s mood of calm, reviewing each low swell as it unrolled before him its obsequious salaam. Crossing the fringe of foam with splashing stride, he found himself knee-deep, waist-deep, and still nothing swung by worth joining for . . . . Continue Reading »

Mirror Verse

From the February 2008 Print Edition

Brightly it gapes at the room. Nothing can argue the glass out of its passive (but wait: impassive, call it) alert, ready and able to mate doubles in pitiless pairs, mimicking background as well, fixed in its quicksilver depth. Threatened by such unappeased ardor to match what appears with a . . . . Continue Reading »

Parable of the Birds

From the June/July 2005 Print Edition

They might be swallows. Barely to be seen, they come through what the combine left behind, dispersed, discreet, below the radar screen while burnished stubble gives them grain to find; till suddenly, as though at some behest we cannot hear but they innately share, they’ve catapulted up and . . . . Continue Reading »

Finding the Diary

From the May 1990 Print Edition

Settling the estate, the lawyer said. It seemed too grand a way of putting it— bills to be paid, a bank account to close, and finally her mother’s house to sell while her own, half-a-continent away, sat waiting for her with its lights on timers and neighbors dropping in to feed the fish. . . . . Continue Reading »


From the April 1990 Print Edition

Here it comes again, after shimmering dead all winter, stretching, flexing, limbering, unleashing hordes of feather-cut leaves that look like dragon tongues, a silty river bronze, before they flatten to assume their summer-long, grass-emulating green. Gone in a few . . . . Continue Reading »