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This is what I remember of life:

the glans of a penis, smooth as an acorn,

split like a cat’s eye with a vertical pupil.
Weeping pearly tears.

On a salmonberry, the swollen drupelets
quilting its surface with peachy clitorises.

Words like frogs, their sudden leaps
and pulsing, thin-skinned bodies.

The singing when we stopped to listen.



(from “Darkling)

In a small boat off Port Renfrew

a woman trolling for halibut
caught the moon.

It was pale and pocked.

It lengthened from disc to oval to flatfish
as she lifted it. The rod bowed.

When the rod’s tip touched the water’s surface
the moon sprang from the waves

streaming foam, and soared overhead.

The woman fell on her back –

winded, wordless – rocking as the boat rocked.
The moon hung above her,

huge and closer than a star.

It had grown on a tongue of silt

at the river’s mouth, dark-side-down,
resting on its mind-reading side,
then slid to deep waters.

Staring up at it, the woman knew it knew.

The boat that was not a boat


cruised on pavement –

carried its load of passengers down
into the deepest parking lot.
The boat was a slow-moving trolley
with seats along each side.

There were few sights –

just cars and more cars.
We rode at the pace of royalty.
As if we’d built a cathedral.

As if flying buttresses and a rose
window would loft from earth’s bowels.
Now and then the driver paused
and we fell silent, observing shadowed
and slightly shimmering Fords,

GMCs, Hondas, Saabs, Peugeots, Toyotas
in which we drove to work,
carried potting soil, ferried

dogs and children, stored reusable grocery bags

and flats of spring water, transported those much-desired
presents in their impenetrable packaging.

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