In the hottest bar in Wisconsin
the singer sings about blind white panic
and crystalline faces coming in from the cold.
The dying singer sings about love,
and I hear the band behind her
heaving quiet sighs into the lights.
In the morning, the red crows bang
into high-water pylons and fold back into the sky.
The pines are deep in snow, but they don’t know it yet.
The mild sounds: a moist wing, a finger in a trout,
the girl with the hissing lantern
comes down stairs like water under ice.
This is my worst season, because I’ll follow anybody.
This morning I chose YouTube over poetry —
cooking videos mostly, and specifically
the folded Japanese omelette called tamagoyaki.
Not because I was hungry, though I am —
I’m trying to lose weight
and fasting is part of my plan —
but because I could relate
to the aesthetics: thin layers
of eggs, dashi, sweet mirin wine,
daikon garnish, soy for flavor,
served like nori sushi in a line.
I’m drawn to cooking because my life lacks a plan.
Every day is a creation; I never know if I can
get it together, so it’s easier to watch Jacques Pepin.
At twelve he was already taller than some boys in high school, with his stringy arms and long hair that made him look older until you saw his freckles and his bangs. He was so thin his shoulder blades poked under his t-shirt like dinosaur wings. He usually walked home…
Instead of candles, cake, and paper hats
(which, let’s be real, would have been better)
I thought I’d walk you down a funny path,
(also: much easier than writing a letter)
But sitting here, too much time has passed
And now I’ve found all this regret:
birthdays missed, others dimmed, plans