This poem was published in Interim (Vol. 20, Nos. 1 & 2, 1999).
What I Can Tell You
This apple orchard
is the instant your temper came unhinged.
This well-known novel
the instant your wife took new note
of the dark-eyed man in her physics class.
Turn left here, on the street marking
failure to understand
inability to remember
Count what you love
now count what you’ve lost:
The oxygen you inhale
is the number left over.
Cradled in a crack in the sidewalk
a beetle waits for your shadow to pass.
You darken whole minutes.
to crush the space beneath your feet
is the instant a window opens,
scattering birds from the rough sill.