A poem


Outside my window,

in the parking lot of the Arabic grocery store,

a hundred seagulls assemble

to avoid the sharpshooting wind off the highway.

The clouds are low down and on the offensive.


Hup two, three, four. Hup two, three, four.

The cockiest male struts

like a colonel among troops

crowded into a pair of yellow-chalked

military zones. He’s talking strategy.

He’s talking peace in the Middle East.

Just as I’m thinking “air strike,”

a rogue flock descends, breaks my concentration

and the colonel’s —


but commotion or no,

still nothing here but the blinking cursor

where a poem should’ve been.

Still nothing but me,

reading metaphors into everything,

time being a luxury I can afford.

Taking it, kneading it, stretching it out.

And why deprive myself?

I like my wily council of birds.

I like that they come to see me now and again.

What else can I do, a writer who writes all day,

my entire studio hemorrhaging light?


The sun beats down

with an exaggerated sense of importance,


— because there aren’t any sweet-eyed kids

scampering sweaty and barefoot

through the kitchen. There are no unmade beds,

no rumpled towels on the bathroom floor.

There’s no husband,

no dog or cat to care for.

No caged, smart-mouthed parrot slung over a lake

of its own droppings.


It glows this way because it can.