In The Bunker
The sommelier pours hock into the L'Angelus
while children restack Legos into tombs.
A journeyman barrista sports a new tattoo —
the steam hits skins of scalded milk. The rooms
here tingle with WiFi and heirloom jewelry.
The ceiling is a trompe l'oeil of rout.
The floors are stainless steel on stilts, the three
walls without views are sandwiches of doubt-
proof R15. Between the artful sponge-remarque-
on-plaster and displays of cashier's checks,
it's easy to miss windows looking out on stark
white rage, behind which veil, a raven pecks
the body of its mate, a black bear eats its young,
a lynx chews off its leg. All miracles
without the transubstantiation. Here among
the rank converted, housemaid Vera culls
the canapés and proffers trays of fresh Bee decks.
The Dummy wanders over, whiskey-propped
to see his Ten harrumphed, a royal card wrecks
Daddy's rubber. Weaveresque “Have IQ's dropped
so sharply?” dribbles from the East. Someone's
about the latter days of Rome, someone has left
the door ajar. What's left of all that's warm
the Second Law and, pulling in its cleft
and tummy, leaves the realm of univision,
squeezes, soundless, through the bright incision.
Because there are no trees nor hope
for trees & light
means painting the deck
every year, whorish
until the first snow,
then dull blood
then tamed beneath a
& you in it. Because
there are no birds besides
a third-class tourist
bus of grackles,
the odd consonant of geese,
your view is undisturbed:
of rock, rise & backlit
from God's ring finger. Because
winter is fickle you
on redwood (blizzard,
blizzard) & swap out brass
& touch up spots
to May & the trees,
if there were trees, bulk up
& chitchat, sweat
brush in your hand,
in mind, one color.
Fred and Betty Take Their Vitamins
in Estes Park
The painted bear outside the French doors is caught
in the rain, parable on his lips. My mother's hand
is out. Dad drops red gelatin, small white coffins.
I've had my brushes with death, and now they say
life drifts from here to Mars and vice versa. A man
in a slicker fishes the brook that runs through
the lodge grounds. I'm always surprised
by expressions of faith. Now, green powder,
brown diamonds for the bones, bubbles of yellow oil.
Their palms rise laden with the weight, their mouths
expectant O's. I'm reading the Gospel of Saint
(elks bellow). Maybe He was just a bossy Jew, quick
with a tale, the rest a retrofit. It's time for my kids
to arise from their sleeping bags on the cabin floor.
The bear holds a shivering finch in his wooden paw.