Muscle & Bone

1995, 32 pages

"On the page, the poems are lean and plainly spoken, but they are alive with surprises and bright maneuvers. The result is a fine combination of deftness of craft and ease of expression."
óBilly Collins

First Poem after My Mother's Death

The glass bowl on the cluttered kitchen
table is so large, we could fit both
our hearts in it, my father and I. We could

stuff the whole world in there, maybe.
I thought, perhaps, we'd fill it
with yellow daffodils, but we've had enough

of flowers. There are things
we should put in the bowl but do not.
Instead, we open all the pill

bottles we can find throughout the house
and pour hundreds of pills into the bowl,
almost filling it. We are so happy to empty

them, we toss the lids over our shoulders
and drop the empty bottles to our feet.
There is a pill for everything, so many

shapes and sizes, such amazing color.
There is an entire landscape in our bowl, sky
and clouds and earth and water. The pills

are like tiny flower blossoms and we hate them.
We have done this together. I have always
wanted to do this. We have a large

bowl full of pills and, for all the love
we've ever known, can't even imagine
what to do with it.



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