8:30 in New Jersey

The evening air is still—

Black ice it lies in waiting—

Walking with the cold

I watch asphalt exhaling.

If winter had a home—

Or frost a day to rest—

It be within this heart,

It be within this breath.

WARNING: something I should have mentioned earlier

If you’re going to read me

Don’t read me with a grain of salt

Read me with the whole damn salt shaker—

Trust me, it’s for the best.

The Vatican with Friends, Rome 2012

Plain clothes

Let’s make this hard demeanor

seem effortless as clothes,

worn to keep you even

keeled, careful and alone, but

we’re not an island, flower petal

rock or sinking stone,

he’ll take the time, reverse the crime

and kill me in plain clothes.