mentem mortalia tangunt

Four years of boarding school Latin, four years of a hopeless crush on the boy with whom I was in a perennial contest for the Latin book prize. Two years he won, two years I did. He was diligent and analytical. I was not particularly diligent but I burrowed my way into noun declensions and Virgil by sheer force of will and love.

Junior year it was all Aeneas, all the time. The man was maddening. Sucking up to the gods and then getting in meaningless tiffs with them. Seducing Dido and then abandoning her for the sake of being a big shot on another continent. You couldn’t like the man or trust him, but when he said, as he did say, in plain and heartbreaking words, sunt lacrimae rerum–there are tears in things–you had to love him.

early dark
Venus et al.
wedged beneath
my breastbone

honey moon

I kind of forgot about the honey moon the other day–okay, I didn’t really forget, I was just really tired that evening and I didn’t feel like staying up to watch it rise. Although in retrospect I probably should have, because once it did rise it shone so brightly into my bedroom that it woke me and ruthlessly kept me awake. I finally had to get up and read half a book and write several pages of deathly prose before I could shed the restlessness it provoked in me. In the morning I was so tired the whole night felt like a dream. Maybe it was a dream. Maybe we’re all dreaming the moon; isn’t it kind of preposterous, after all?


full moo an uncompleted word in the search bar

honey moon
she slips the potatoes
out of their jackets

where the moon should be; a semicolon

most of the story

Most of the story is well. The village was a checkerboard footprint outline. Well on the board somewhere, one, two wells, wheels turn men and women, met quietly in raw rippling, returned to their respective winding road to go home, next meet, smiling, as if nothing had happened , and if nothing was inhibited in the eyes. 


Soon after awakening, I am aware of, many appreciate, even so the solution connected with childhood. Childhood exactly who will not break the item? 


Over time, the heart of the War from the flooding .

found spam comment poetry

in the dark

I spend a minute excitedly pointing out Cassiopeia to him–look, there’s the W, can’t you see it ??–until he interrupts me. “You’re looking at the Big Dipper.” Oh. So I am.

“You have no idea what you’re talking about, do you?” he asks. No. No, I don’t.

sleepless night
the moon encourages
my delusions


I’m still discovering things he took with him when he left. The latest is the trowel. Apparently I haven’t needed or wanted to plant anything in two years, so I didn’t notice before that all the hand gardening tools had gone with him. He left all the big tools — spades, hoes, rakes — but when I dig in the dirt I like to do it up close and personal. I like to see the things that are buried, the rocks, the roots, the black, inscrutable beetles. I like to break up the more stubborn clods of dirt between my fingers. I like to get my hands so dirty that I have to run very hot water over them for a long time, and scrub them at length with pleasant-smelling soap, in order to restore normalcy.

So I went to a hardware store and bought a replacement trowel, because buying things is an easy way to stop up so many of the gaps. The new trowel is solid and effective and comfortable in my hand, but it’s not the trowel I spent twenty years planting things with. The entire process of planting felt different this time. The soil seemed more resistant to my incursions, as if it had grown some kind of beetlish carapace during my two fallow years. And I look at the new plants nervously every time I walk by, expecting them, perhaps, to have dislodged themselves somehow and walked away.

summer drowsiness
I list my mistakes
on the flyleaf


(Incidentally, if you requested a postcard back at the beginning of the month, I am not ignoring you. It’s on the docket for this week. But just a reminder: if you haven’t emailed me your snail mail address yet, I’m going to have a hard time getting it to you…)