The Comfort of Recipes,
Cherry red moon over the trees.
The owl hoots. Canaries
Fly in the dusky light.
Below, a child’s swimming pool.
Sands of disturbance waking into light.
She opened the curtain.
Red, cherry red, cherry cherry red.
Why was the owl’s song so new?
You came when I called, but I didn’t call. Candles burning
On the stove. Oil of cloves. Jack Robinson.
Picture this: a girl on a swing,
Hair flowing like wheat. She is my daughter.
Her feet kick in the air and she rides the calls of birds.
Once, when I was a gentleman, he said,
I opened the attic trunk to find my dagger.
Are you listening? Strains of reeds fly over the hill.
The carnival arrives marching and tumbling and the girl begs
To see the stiltwalkers, the tiger, the man on the trapeze.
Fire eaters stroll into the den, disrupting my hard-earned peace.
They toss rings, release doves into the rafters,
Vault from the ceiling beams.
That’s when the police blow in,
Daggers cloaked, searching for the peace-disturbing miscreants.
They find me clutching a desk leg and a table lamp whose stand is covered in gum.
They jostle me to jail with their billy sticks.
No more of this, they say. No more reading such profane screeds.
In jail I pray with an inmate clad in a dotted blouse.
We ask Jesus to come down to rescue us from laws like stones.
In a barred window a leprechaun alights,
Small and dancing. “Jesus sent me,” he says.
“Do you trust me?”
The woman in the dotted blouse says yes. I say, “Like I trust tigers,
Like I trust the scales of fish.”
“Well enough,” he says. “Jump!”
And when we do, we’re taken up into the clouds.