Boy Bites Bible

The best thing ever
I got for my birthday
was my name on a bible,

leather-bound and
embossed in real gold—
even a middle initial—M

—fifty years ago at least.
It came in the mail in
a stiff mauve box. I came

in from mowing
early spring grass
to find it and smell

the leather. Authorized
Version and even from
England, King James,

just as the monarchy
approved it. I sniffed
the black leather, “made

in Morocco.” A smell that
seemed so much more
important than the grass

and dust.
So many
years ago,

that moment
so true for me—
at last a book

treated right.
I bit the leather
right there, just

to taste what
seemed so true.IMG_3438

Prophecies and Points West


Welcome to no time,
apotheosis of gone.
Welcome to the presence
of no-


annihilation . . .


Armies on plains.
Rivers of blood.
Lakes of fire.
Ponds of penumbras.

The usual end stuff.
No, it never works
the way we thought;
that’s one thing we
know from the past

and the prophets.


It’s not as we expected.
Which is what we expect.

It never works
that way. Or

that other way
we thought.

It’s one thing we know:
that it’s not as we expect.


The words, the texts at
the end of the world . . .

Lakes, rivers, armies.
Plains, blood, fire . . .

All that elemental
falderal . . .

Then it’s a bus
to get on late
at night for go-
ing “and points West.”


No, the end won’t be hate.
No, the end won’t be killing.
No, it won’t be in words we know.

Or what we thought. Or expect.

The texts at the end of time.

It’s never those old prophecies,
or how we expect expecting.

Cheap Socks for my Dead Dad

IMG_3391After he died, I had to buy
some socks for my dad. My
mother insisted a pair go

with the suit I’d spruced up
for the undertaker. I bought
a three-pack on sale, one

pair for dad, two for me. I
think of him mouldering
there in his socks when a

pair floats up in the heap
of my drawer. I recognize
them still by the sheen of

polyester—cheap socks
are fine, I reasoned, for the
grave where the walking’s

ceased. As for me, I have
two pairs of cheap shiny
socks. For now. For a while.