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Mr. Zip

Like the mail, we wait for Jesus —

cooling his heels, he rises through epochs.

Out our window the air falls all day long.

Needing his missives,

staring at the approaching sidewalk,

we give up, yawn and say,

“No mail today.”

Then glimpse him past us, disappearing down the block —

bare feet pressing wet roses on concrete.

San Diego

In the pool a girl, slim and new-breasted,

treads water, watching the high-diving boys.

On the springboard a lad, skinny and shivering,

wavers before leaping.

Above them a Strike Eagle, sleek and silver,

plunges down, trailing a snarl through the blue.

The boy salutes the dive bomber,

dances up his courage, and cannonballs.

The water explodes, its flames engulfing a village.

The girl strokes towards him.


In twilight the spider’s web vanishes.

Rather than silken lace,

her eight legs climb only air.

She swings and twirls in a buffet of breeze,

then scurries higher into space.

Having only half her limbs, we are spider’s

clumsy kin,

but we too ascend on invisible threads,

spun from ourselves, sticky to the touch,

strong in the wind.

City Spring

Searching for sticks, the sparrow sings again

in the alley while

his spouse sips from the puddle

of a cat’s paw print.

Up from the mud sprout

green shocks of new weeds,

and willow buds, sleek as baby rabbits,

burst from twigs rattling in gusts against a billboard.

In the thawed sump of a tin can

bug couples hug in rapturous honeymoons.

Beneath us, a worm burrows after a friend

through earth once again soft enough to munch.

Even we two woolen creatures,

coughy-throated and pale, scurrying

for the bus, tug off our hats

and blink hello.

Coitus Interruptus

She touches me while I read,

presses kisses on my neck.

I smile


pat her


Mid-stanza her voice intrudes:

“I love you, do you love me?”

I read to the end, say, “Yes I love you,”

give her hand a dismissing squeeze.

Thinking, now go away,

let me finish this new book

of love poems.


On the frozen bud

a wren, fluffed to brave the sleet,

sings and flicks her tail.

Midnight Gallery

Paintings still shine

through barred windows

after we’ve all gone home