from Inlanders

I know a little about hats—
a lot about shoes—my
strong points are my elbows—
if it's bright it's a beacon—
I'm the one who finds things
beautiful in waste bins—
I'm the encounterer—

At the dentist
an x-ray of my mouth
is a child's mouth—I know
this girl—she is watching
fireworks explode over a
city on a great river—
she is watching crowds
on the esplanade—they are
not cheering—they are not
speaking—some favor has
been driven from them


We count our steps—
eighty-seven, eighty-eight—
the air follows us out, follows
us in—let's keep quiet now—
if we say one word
the trees will die

The ocean is a story told
to children who have
only their eyelids left—
tonight I will tell you
about the ocean—how it
never even happened