The Tumble

He was the tumble – night-work
masterpieces with all the lights on.

Tomorrow was days away. Toledo Whiskey
and “Yesterday” played.

Tomorrow came and went. He stayed
long enough to take all of me with him

that last time he left as I stood watching
his taillights disappear at the top of

the hill, kicking up road and promises,
making me sure he was in a hurry to return.


I Heard the Lapping Water

My eyes were unaccustomed.
I heard the lapping water,
the sun throwing itself.
I took off my shoes and
waded into that bright
glistening as though called
from the far shore, feeling
the silk of silt between my toes.

I don’t know how long I stood
in the water. I just remember
my father placing the worms
on the hook while I chattered
the silence away and all of
the fish, thirty-five years ago.

“I’m Your Living Doll”

I’m talking to him from the shower
in a raised voice that isn’t morning
though it’s still very much morning.
We’ve been married two years today.

“Have I ever told you that I love you?”
I call to him. He stopped answering
that question moons ago. He calls to me
asking if he should pick something up

at the market. Turning off the water,
I say, “And you are?” He doesn’t tumble
to that one. There is silence as I dry
off and comb my hair. When I enter the

bedroom, he looks surprised. “I’m Suzie.
I’ll be your waitress.” He’s smiling reading
his phone. Now I’m in my lace bra, half
slip and heels as I walk over to him. He

says, “The Nikkei finished up.” “You talk
so pretty, cowboy,” I say holding his face
and kissing him. He places a Burma ruby
on my ring finger. “I thought you forgot me.”

He says, “And you are?”