The sun shines and the rain falls

when the devil is beating his wife

in the backyard ballet

pink tulips ball up

Wedgwood blue

lilacs thrash like scribble

and the air smells sick

sweet with sweat. 

On the car radio a voice begins

There is not a dichotomy between civility and protest

but a caller 



Civility is used as a tool of oppression

of what’s noninclusive.

At Shaw’s

a woman pays for yellow 

American Spirits

with a gift card and change.

She pulls up her pant leg

to show me a bull's-eye

that spans the width of her calf.

Doctor says it's not lyme’s

what do you think?

I tell her I am not a doctor 

but I would get a second opinion.

By the newspaper rack a headline asks 

Why Did Nonbelievers Grieve for Notre-Dame

next to a child tugging a woman’s shirt sleeve

I don’t want spaghetti

Then grow up to be somebody

the woman pulls free. 

In the parking lot puddles reflect 

the same old 

age old


and sensibility

silver daguerreotypes

of a time 

and place 



As the spirit comes 

the spirit goes. 

A car alarm sounds 

a man grunts Goddamnit 

a woman puts her hands up 

“Not guilty” 

You said it was open!

A voice beneath an umbrella shouts 

at a body ten paces away

My daughter! You got no right

The umbrella snaps backward in wind

baring a pinch-faced woman who screams 

Fuck you!

Back in the car the radio continues

You’re one angry word from a shove

you're one angry word from a punch

you're one angry word from an objectively dangerous situation.

The windshield wipers streak 

the width of a maple seed pod. 

The road ahead blurred 

wakes against the sea wall. 

In the driveway the beating ends 

and the sky turns purple and then it glows red

and I stand beneath it for a long time 

holding a bag of lemons

listening to gospel coming from an open window 

swaying in step to the thundering clapping 

How I got over this longing for home. 

The hallelujah came forth 

without prophetic illusion 

there was no pierced heart rising in thorns 

it was just the end of April

when season breaks season

and snake eats tail 

when the soul of the world

the organ of breath


no longer in need of salvation.