The Dhawo

The Dhawo is coming to you friendly and able
With a goatee and a wrench and an admirable degree
You can’t live long enough to exceed its plans to justify
It will redefine the way you do things most of all in private
The Dhawo has always been young and most promising most willing most becoming
The Dhawo knows what is best for your town
There is no improvement without the Dhawo no loss for reminiscence
You may have wanted fame too but you must move over must be buried now dear one

Don’t pray to the Dhawo it thinks that’s a tone for pitying yourself you excuse
It halves the stone the cloud and has more surface
The lingo of computation the new the lingo of summation the new it hears this
It will take every path from you and give them back in time for pretending
The Dhawo is never lonely so it doesn’t need your love
The Dhawo is ever wandering feeding on the human wish to figure out
It storms the city and casts down the silver drops the million flattering mirrors useless to revelation
It wants to make your palm the shelf for this fall’s product line

The Dhawo doesn’t know it’s the Dhawo it thinks it’s hope a good injection one of us
See its corpse-pile its rationale its artistic breakthrough its smooth cheek
Poor Dhawo never falls out of itself
Poor Dhawo speeds up
You can lick its creams you can vote for its opposition recycle seek a real cave
The Dhawo with its myriad arms poor Dhawo hurts to have to do this
It jump cuts from evil it’s coming ruddy and muscular

–From With Your Back to Half the Day

Blue Star Home

The blue star displayed in a house window means
knock on this door
if you’re chased by a bully
or shadowed from school by a stranger in a car;
someone will answer,
will know what to do;
the world as you’ve felt it will remain so;
you’re welcome,
don’t forget.

But we do forget
even as we pound furiously for help,
or stroll past, imitating, on a plastic recorder,
a mourning dove.
Or living too deep in the back rooms,
out for the day,
we don’t hear.
What was that?

When we answer
and discover that child in the frightened eyes
of a colleague, or our reflection,
we may bid it enter.
Before closing the door behind it, we peer out
for the threat,
for veracity (we’ve been tricked before,
we showing the star).
And there’s our street. There’s a maple leaf, fallen,
wide as a breastplate.

The Hair Wreath

Each paying half by agreement,
we saved it from the junkstore window:
blonde and auburn with a shock of brunette,
and spangled with paste-pearl daisies,
a Victorian braid of domestic madness,
tight, and thankfully not our fashion.
Now our bad taste makes it twice a relic.
It’s another us undivided, forgotten
like a maverick mine in a once-strategic bay.
Did you pack it here “on purpose” or did I?
I used to die against such useless questions.
I lift it from the box now, careful of pins.
What boors we were! boring each other,
making that resolve not to go to bed angry.
And you, claiming all was desire and object,
my fear of your mind, sure as a stiff prick.
What does one say? We’d imagined
three dead sisters sitting nightly at vanities,
the hundred magic strokes from their brushes
curling in the casket with older locks;
and their three vested suitors
exchanging cards, whores’ addresses,
chatting on empire at tea. Very clubbable.
We were hardly so vivid with ourselves.
You claimed all my touch was only token.
And, much later, we made a truce of the thought
of how much we are alike. Fingering the strands,
I see you rolling us a smoke, my best editor,
pointing to the dry patch on your back
you can’t reach with oil. This wreath.
I’ve dismantled it a hundred times.

–From With Your Back to Half the Day