I never really
understood giving,
until now.

The self reposed
on the brink
of sinking.

To lose words
like water
and not caring

that they could
move or kill
the way headlight

heads toward light
even if you don’t


You know the sea
is five minutes away.

But still, here,
air slips between

the curve of a jug’s handle
where your grip used to be.

The way movement
doesn’t always cover space

and hesitation
unwraps like a gift.


The mannered folding
of shirts–face down,
sleeves crossed, and cut

below the heart
where everything that isn’t there
becomes part of you anyway.

When the clothes you are wearing
mean less to you than
the act of putting them on–

the armstretch,
the buttoning up,

the indigent body
settling in.

from Early Work: Poems 2000-2007 (2011)


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