The Mongolian Contortionist with Pigeons

My heart has been broken many times by
people I loved who couldn't find a way.
-- Horton Foote

was breath taking, a flesh knot. There were

many fine Czechoslovakian skaters

that Olympic year. Each ended her act,

like a hyphen or parenthesis, lying

on the ice in dramatic, bad American music.

We watched the Olympian skaters Triple Axel

in heaven while L.A. burned a nervous breakdown.

In New Jersey runny eggs were outlawed, but

firearms were allowed. Locally

the smelt fishers didn't register a change:

up & down all night their parachute nets.

Lake Michigan smelled like arithmetic:

fog trees, fog trees, bluets. There were

grocery store epileptics and alphabet

annunciations, and constellations

of life's commonsensical commitments,

the human contracts: godmothers, godlovers

godchildren, godhusbands. And you my

eye-rhyme, twin trick, sister fast

forwarded to death, dropped your skin body

inconsequentially as junk mail into

the planetary mailslot ragbag. You

left a note: The dog needs a walk, & 2

Emily Dickinson poems, peppered with granite

lips. The shepherd, Saint Cuthbert,

from his field, watched angels carry

the bishop, Saint Aidan, in a globe of fire

to heaven. The men who rolled you out of

your house in a Holy Communion white body

bag wore seethrough shower caps & rubber

gloves. The medical examiner was pregnant,

the priest fat. Oh how I head-talk to God

and my love dead. I have never lived 2 days

inside the same body. I have never 2 days

been married to the same man. In my garden,

the red bleeding heart bush made it through

our long winter. The white bleeding heart

didn't. On the blunt end of a heart's foreclosure,

you count flowers; you remember the landscapes

of you.