Hound Dog Blues

In October, the dullest month
of all,
two rapists escaped
from Sugarloaf Detention Center.

The dogs tracked them through Miller’s Farm,
through pumpkins large as toddlers,
through the discarded rubbers
of puerile lovers
in another road-side field,
and finally into my crop of
secluded grain.

Pheasant swarmed like maudlin incubi
at the sight of them, the cops gangling
forward like agitated, absurd scarecrows,
when Jimmers, my hound,
raised up on the porch
and howled at the pain of it all.

Came word on the radio later
the rapists had been hunted down,
bitten and shot,
assaulted in a fortunate way.

As we napped on the porch,
a white van sped up to the house,
and emerged quickly a hurried man,
hurried like late breakfast,
clutching too many bright helium balloons.

My daughter would be surprised,
come home from school,
her mother last season laid
in the cold dirt of Emerson Baptist Church,
and her tenth birthday lost among the grieving.

After paying the man
and taking string in hand,
I stopped to twist the wedding ring
still shrouding my finger,
turned the gold circle with my thumb.

In that moment, just so quick,
Jimmers got his paw wrapped up in the strands,
and his howl made me jump and fall backward.
I watched the balloons

lift off with him
hanging limp under that rubber bouquet,
floating off in a straight line,
with me being one point
and Sirius, the Dog Star, the other.


Emotion Interstellar

The Earth is not enough for this,
the smoldering thing without mass,
with the closest in nature
being buds that break open their own lips
to show a flesh indescribable.
In the earliest, aching days of forming
this cracked dirt,
these seas boiling with tender expulsion,
magma squeezed toward air,
the massive rock quaked daily
toward a simmering,
and then the horrendous fires
brought eons of lush living.

These stale metaphors could never know
what would grow from that firm birth,
never know these human forms
and their swirling brew.

There is nothing terrestrial about ache.
It likely slammed into mud from the cosmos,
gas and ice burning through the sky
after gliding through sleeping millenia.
Love is, in fact, madness,
a killing lament not meant for any physical form.
And yet, here it grows,
the only thing celestial we have ever touched.

It was there in the beginning,
all that we needed,
but we missed its true, steeped knowing:

there were three in the Garden of Eden,
each pure, lonely, and suffering as anything under God.

There are Two Moons on this Tough Rock

I woke again to nothing but strewn parts,
the wreckage of this life.

It’s been many days since I heard a voice crackle through to me
through the miles, as if I waited for angels

to settle down and take these hands.
Some nights I can almost make it out,

beyond the two gray orbs of this world, my eyes in the sky,
and can almost hear the far off choir of human voices.

Stranded like this, here, by the smoldering expanse
of greenish sea and crying, green leaves

and squat, greenish things, it is all a green hued reflection
of what was familiar. The reddish fruit here

also tastes forbidden.
The last thing she said was she would wait,

but I have no doubt that I will wander this garden
with no loss of rib or delicate kiss,

and salvation in my own hands,
a daily movement as if praying.

The First Man/Woman Team to Mars

“Fucking magnificent,” the man astronaut says, his suit nearly perfect
and sealed. Slick gas fumes caress their nostrils
as the rocket engines warm ten minutes before launch. The woman gazes
into some inner caution, the image of that little girl she was

crying at the table, her cheek still stung from her father’s hand.
And now they each step to the platform, rise to their small tube
at the tip of the monstrous thing. He allows her in first, then ducks
casually and sets his back snug into the seat, as the launch crew

straps them down and leaves. The man set of hands and the woman set of hands
each busy themselves with mundane tasks while still on Earth,
though their labored breath suggests anticipation. They would be the first
to gasp at the valleys of Mars. No humans would understand. And they

would fuck, they agreed, fuck all the way through space, feet
unbound from that sphere of dirt. He has a hard-on now, thinking of her floating
form as his heart rate registers on a ground control screen, alarming
a medical team of three. “I can’t wait to get up there with you,” he says

to the space-suited woman astronaut

and reached for her hand as the countdown ended.
She, red-haired and clean, clasped his glove quickly before exhaling.
Then the numbers went backward from ten, and they groaned from the pad,
sucked immensely downward, exhilarating moments

of consciousness, and then the heavy edging upward,
Blackness seeped  through the window view. Within minutes they ripped off
their restraints and flew to their controls, reading, and turning, and
clicking their way on a trajectory to Mars. “Why do you think they let a man

and woman go together,” he asked, and then floating close her ear,  “God,
I want to suck your tits.” She gave a hard crank to a valve before turning to him
and then moved her lips in the most deliberate way. She responded with fierceness,
“Because they want us to fuck, you fool. Those men believe

this empty space needs to be filled with something. So fine,  get your goddammed mouth between my legs while I dump these last tanks.”
They hurtled through space in weightless carnality, he in no hurry to find
life anywhere else, and she along for the ride.