Piano Sonata No. 11 in A Major

Piano Sonata No. 11 in A Major
always brings to mind
a certain game of Tetris
played in childhood on our family computer
— the astronaut level, or maybe it was
the Russian hockey player scene,
so difficult in speed that it seemed the pieces
had a magnetic pull to the bottom of the screen
and only great dexterity and mental acuity
could win a higher score than my sibling opponents.

I’m sure that’s what Mozart had in mind
when he composed the Turkish march so many years ago–
that the ballerinas flouncing around the stage
would eventually begin falling into formations
of twos and threes,
possible even long contingents of four,
in their matching tutus
as they pas de bourrée and jettée across the floor
until the whole cast had clumped together
in one mass of pointed toes and arched arms,


The Work of the Seasons

This love that seemed to be wasted,
spent carelessly and forgotten like autumn leaves in the wind,
left these branches only barren enough to give more life,

and all these winter sorrows that seemed too much to bear
were quietly building up the strength in these limbs
to be laden with the weight of much fruit.

White Coat

I saw a man wearing a white coat
out while running errands today
and it reminded me of when
you put on your white coat for me

still a student making rounds
in the thick of med school
and the Louisiana bayou heat

you picked it up off the coat rack
and shrugged it on
somehow trying to reveal a part of yourself
that I never got to see

and I wondered what it would be like
to welcome you home every day
when you could take off this other life
and hang it up by the door


I am the sacrifice of Elijah,
a young bull laid on the altar
with water twelve jars full
poured out over, trenches catching
and brimming with all that
the saturated wood could not hold.

And Elijah watches, matches laid aside,
staying his hand from starting any flame,
so that when Your fire comes down,
engulfing my heart with a love so strong
so as to outlast any earthly trial,
he will know that it was only by Your hand.

Running at sea level in the June humidity

feels like your skin is burning off —
surrounded by boiling water,
which is actually the sweat
that has evaporated off your body
and is clinging still in the air,
nano-meters away,
because too many water molecules
are already occupying the space.
and the air threatens to drown your lungs,
so unused to an abundance of oxygen
pressing in on them and
disrupting their normal rhythm.
but it would be ridiculous to say
that you are out of breath.


yesterday I saw a line of young geese
trundle into the water after their mother
perfectly timed

like a set of synchronized swimmers
and I thought how nice it must be
to follow after with such certainty

because it seems the only times
i have gone anywhere with such assurance
was when I was walking out into the unknown

completely on my own
that inner sense of belonging from knowing
that this was my path alone