SPIDER HOLDS COCOON
Fire engine ladder into the sycamore
to catch a cat who is the only one
that sees the fire—
before it's too late, the helmet smokes
and the cat can speak, regal
like one of the bird-cats descended
the plans for the pyramids.
Between two leaves, a spider
wraps its legs around a chalky cocoon—
This is how it is
a secret whispered between animals,
one blanket-wash heat-heart
rubs civilization down
like a stone . . .
A DEVIL DEALER, A WALTZING RIVER
--after Peter Miller
Here's a card trick I discovered:
Pick a card—look at how
there's a heart in the top corner
and a pitchfork in the bottom.
Hold on, sugar, the devil's dealing.
It's old hat to say it's all going to hell,
but I just said it anyway.
The only hope is that only gods
offer such constant looks of disappointment,
bound and gagged in a circle of gasoline.
Stick that card in your blouse and let's dance
to the crescendo along the chandelier,
shaking light drops along the coast,
the lava mouth of the canyons.
The house may be on fire, baby,
but those flames belong to me.