Dogs

Here he is again, he’s here, again, here he is, walking, here he comes walking, he is walking, he walks, look, look here he comes, here he is, he is here, the long walk here is the long walk, he’s opening now, look, long walk, the questions he has, he’s here, here with the questions, the long questions, he’s here, here with the questions, questioning, the stairs, the porch, the long walk, the stairs the porch the long walk the feet the steps the long walk the stairs the stepping the legs, the feet, the long walk, he’s here after the long walk, the night the day the long walk, he’s here after the long walk, he’s here, he’s here after the long walk, the stairs the porch the door the stairs the porch the door the fingers the hand the palm the door the door the knob the door the knob the finger the hand the palm, he’s here, the long walk the fingers the hand the palm, the door the knob the room, he’s here, the room the door the knob the steps the feet the shoes the shoes the shoes the stairs the porch the door the room, he’s here, he’s here, the man the walk the porch the room, he’s here, the man the room the jacket the hand the fingers, the man is here, the man the jacket the shoes, his hand, his hand, the man is here the man is here, the man is here his hand his arm his shoes his legs his knees, he is here, the man the room the room the next room the next room the boy the girl the man the man the woman the table the food the chairs the man the woman the boy the girl the food the table the room the chairs the legs the table, under the legs the feet the floor the table the food the napkin the napkin, the nose, the mouth, the food, the sounds, the man here the woman here the boy here the girl here the window the night the light the man is here the man is here the food the voice the food the chairs, the man’s voice, the other voices, the voices, the food, the night, Give them some, it’s okay, the man, the man, the voice, the boy the boy’s hand, the boy the hand the bread, the bread the hand, me, me, the bread the bread, the man the boy the hand the bread, me, me, You too, go ahead, the man the girl the bread, the laughing, tap tap tap tap tap, Look at those tails going, They love that bread, the man the woman the boy the girl the food the night the end the legs the moving the dishes the floor the dishes the floor clink clink wait wait wait wait okay, Go, the plate the food the tongue, me, the light the legs me, me, me, the door, the light, the wind, the grass, me, the hill, the fence, the pile, the leaves, the stump, the stones, the wall, the tree, the garden, the ash, the house, the corner, the door the door the door, Already? Okay, okay, the woman the girl the boy the man, the lights the lights the lights the stairs the dark the light the dark, me, us, the beds the beds, the man the hand, Lay down both of you, it is time it is time, light dark, bed, Thank you heavenly Father, Good night dear, good night, good night, good dog good night good dog good night good

What do I want

I’m an ark within a lamp
two of every me shining bright
a crowd of myself, no dark places
to hide, my mask out for repair.

The man climbing the ladder
to the soffit where the squirrels
have made their home, the man
tolling the bell is me.

I have left the room where
the great glass chandelier
shines above the silent men
and their rows of hands and feet

and their awful eyes without masks.
My task is to learn what
the squirrels have stolen to make
their nest. My knees are skinned,

my shoulders are tight, and when
I am face to face with the ruined
soffit, I can smell the squirrels
and hear them rustling in the

sticks paper hair
fur acorns straw
hunger hunger fear

Won’t you celebrate

Won’t you celebrate with me the mere fact that we are together here today? Think of chains of events that had to happen exactly as they happened since the beginning of time for us to be together today. If one of those things didn’t happen the way it happened, then we aren’t together. That’s an improbably huge number of events, decisions, choices, and outcomes to calculate. Impossible, perhaps. First of all, consider that ever one of your ancestors, every single organism all the way back to the first splitting single -cell, had to survive long enough to reproduce. If even a single one of those organism dies before reproducing? You aren’t here. And if you aren’t here, our group is different. And even if you think only about today. The fact that all of your decisions, and all of my decisions, lead us to be here together, either physically in the classroom, or connected to us via the miracle of Zoom. And yes, I said miracle. Why not? Try explaining Zoom to you great-grandparents. You’d blow their minds. They think you were a witch. So won’t you celebrate with me that we all together here today? It’s almost beyond comprehension.

Quantum

Before my

name, or my

parents’ names,

before the

parents or

places where

countless name-

less firsts were

born, where they

farmed, hunted,

gathered in

tribes, bands, clans,

colonies,

canopies—

the old one

contemplates

the nameless

savannah.

His branch has

no known name,

the tree has

no known name.

He thinks: I

shall climb down

so the song

may begin.

After the

first naming,

particles

rushed to fill

every wild

space. Many

particles

were anni-

hilated.

Some remain—

the primal

lithe body,

and the trunk

of his tree,

my body

and the walls

of my home—

for instance.