The Feast of Thorns

Long before our terrible story your birthday was already

the feast of Servites pruning winter roses. I cling to that now, all the other days this day could be:

Obstinate mountains lumber into obeisant seas

Lame men whole, blind men see

Dead men rise and shake off their shroudy bindings

impossible things all around ya

If only you will


For Charles on his…

25th birthday

I go to

The-cards-for-pariahs section

Away from all the other

Greeting card confections it is

lightly and surreptitiously attended, although I myself come here often

Oddly situated on a half-aisle between

plumbing and luggage

The cards here are all in shades of ocre

Sometimes the clip art is unbearable, smudged, or just incomprehensible scribbles…macaroni mosaics where all the pasta is long-gone,

All’s that’s left: glue ghosts,

No words left to signify anything but metaphysically inky



Modern Ghost

at the edge of the edge of the silver dance 

the stuff of space becomes so attenuated that

a single floating atom

cannot see the ghost mama

(because there is, by definition, nothing there)

Yet she is.

Curled around her lone, fetal darling

So much smaller than a human


Just a nucleus, protons, the usual electrons 

Would be panicky lonely

Except for the unseen but still 

so present 

Modern ghost.

Happy Birthday, Little Ones

The day I lost you I sent you a letter. I sent a letter I knew your adopted parents would never let you see.

Just like your real name.

Just like your mother, your brother, your sisters. So many beautiful faces.
Taken from you.

I say this because you do have a real name and you do have a real story. And unlike most children adopted under spurious circumstances, you have a paper trail–articles in the local papers, a federal lawsuit. Questions about a very bad judge.

I knew that if I lost you, I had to send out every possible sign that you were and always would be loved.

A mother should be able to celebrate her children’s birthdays, but for your mother each day like this is a reminder of what was stolen from her.

Losing you broke my heart, but not mine alone.

All I ever wanted was to make sure you know, really know, you are loved.

So think of yourself as the magic princess, little one, whose royal parents send out lanterns on your birthday,hoping, just hoping you will see them.

All for you. All this light for you.