We went to the lake,
last sunbathers, with sleek-nosed
I found a goose
hiding from its nest
where the waves ran the sand groove
of a little island.
Anticlea went out, farther than any of us
and lay on her back.
There was a wine-red color
in the shallows,
on their gold-film wings;
her fingers, enjoying a collarbone-close, quiet,
unfurling of charred sinews from bone—
Laertes’ Gift of Trees
My father spades a root in the garden,
though it is old and stiff,
a liquefaction on his belly, hung loose
like a catch of twinkling shads.
He never gave me the nation of these trees— the Ash,
brain-like, and American
or Holly, so resenting
perhaps, the Aspen; this he gave to me,
its knotted footways
and waxy leaves—
a golden copse,
in the mountain air; coins lopping off
crescent sun— indolent light,
of less worth— with the eclipse of each plunging turn
to the bottom of streams vacant and feline
in the heavy-tongued shade.
Why Elephant Seals Destroy Cars
Your hair never quite
achieves that ponytail
but slipping nervous fingers,
like a reluctant shadow that wanders off,
it can become goldenrod
and get lost in the sun.
There is every morning to account for,
none of which belong to us.
Nights when sunrise is the brand
on condensate napkin rings
or the tally of gelid stairs. More often,
it drowns in starry peals of red
You were born where the elephant seals round,
beautiful and cuckold,
whorl their throats, and mistake some ill-parked
Chevy Nova for a suitor,
‘til lip-split and kneeling, it murmurs: I
am the guilty one.