Apology After Drunken Blackout

The phone rings a silent coil around
the kitchen; the houseplants drink Coca-Cola
and rum. Some day soon your lover will leave
is already a dust mote dancing in the sunbeam
through your window. Carl Sagan writes from
the after-universe a love letter to the abyss and
attaches a minuet bouquet with an I’m sorry note.
How to apologize to whom we love when we are living–
rain sobs off the gutter, shrieks down city drains.
She doesn’t trust you anymore, and you didn’t come
back last night to feed your dog who cried alone in
the darkness of your home, but still he wagged his tail
in the presence of your uncertain return.

 

(originally published in Columbia Journal Online, Winter 2018)

Infinite Strings

It was Maxwell
who asked
if algebra
can be extended.
My theory is
it is possible
if we are infinite
strings of numbers,
if an unknown
number
of remaining days
is what
makes us immortal.
With him
gone,
I recite
as many
digits
of pi
as I can
just to feel
my tongue
flicker again–
does the universe
confuse numbers
with the heart’s
density, or
sparsity?
The night sky’s
violins
sing arias
for minor
constellations
that connect
to never-
ending strings
of
days–

 

(originally published in Columbia College Literary Review, Spring 2017)

Theory of the Universe

Did we learn ourselves from the mirror
after we studied constellations
in ragged almanacs… we rotated mechanical
with a hiss of the so-slow
slowing axis…

No equation… can yet rebirth
a cooling star’s impending supernova

If the family cello were given to you
as it recovered from basement dust…

the bowstring part of me
moves… without asking
to the crescendo of ripples…
and F-minor weeping, the lake
awake not as often at night

the big bang must have stemmed… from a desert string
nervous tremolo through the ages, expanding
like a lung just before that first breath–
whole note for the endless meter…

 

(originally published in 99 Pine Street)