Every day invisible bits of him break free,
fly off, and leave him simpler, more leaden
than the day before while he strains to make
the daily round, and flesh that used to hum
at slightest excitation dulls to half-life,
his ass depressing the spring of his chair,
like a slab of roast beef on a butcher’s scale.
But when he’s in bed, past instants of touch,
the quanta of longing, spark networks of nerves,
like manicured nails stroking his spine,
his dream-dome illumined with firework
traces of memory’s decay arcing across
sleep’s deep ether. And so he sinks
every night, marveling at his plenty of loss.
Old Bitch and Bone
He envied his dog her bone, the way she shook
and damn near shat while she sat, expectant,
waiting to clamp and tooth it in the weeds,
the way she cracked the shaft and fanged the fat,
gristle and marrow and old bone mojo,
every scrap, no part unchewed, unknown.
When she was done, she clawed a cradle
for her bone, came inside and went to sleep.
Later, when he let her out, he winced
to see her stiff-hipped hobble-and-squat,
the way she sniffed what midnight offered,
nosed the dirt and found the spot she had clawed,
circled once, lay down and seemed to stare
at a young moon rising, whiter than his hair.