The Narrator Returns


Day One :

There a bloom has fallen , laying off the path , red fading  almost grey . She picked it up and buried it . She was a reader of fairytales . The birds left broken shells under their nests and all the fields outside the city were soft and green . Voices , insects digging , wheat grass , musk , rusted gates , warm winds , always the wind , all of it , all of it in that green . She walks here often , the odor of pink painting the tender joy of her life .

Day Two :


There the white sheets are flapping on the clothesline when he appears . She was sitting on the front steps of her house on the corner of Parmalee Street . She is thin , small breasted and fine in stripped bell bottoms , poet blouse , Moroccan sandals , the leather pale and worn wrapping around her ankles , such beautiful bones . His heart was going like mad . The out of style clothes and the arch of her foot , unusual . He knew he would panic if she moved . She held a baby . The neighborhood lights dimmed . The summer of the year 1983 was ordained . The humming of the lawn sprinklers sang it .

There , under the sky , she  looked at him and looked at him longer and in that pause they both heard the birds screaming on the road above , so resplendent in escape . He would never forget the sound of her voice and she would never forget the sad drooping of his quite lovely left eye or the music he would later play for her . He stalked her with a plea that turned into a gift . His name is Paulo .

Day Three :



Well , he was young , just out of university . She was older with no education . He slept with ” Abba ” on the wall above his bed , she slept under the long neck of a Modigliani print under glass . Truth has an oblique face , an extraordinary stone the gods hide deep within . The hunt began the day they met , maybe paradise , maybe a nightmare , maybe both . Her name is Mary .

That same week :


And there , two hundred miles to the north , along the coast of the Great Lake Michigan  where apples hang heavy on the trees , a young man overturns a silver rowboat , pushing it into the waves of an inland lake . His name yet unknown .

The 13th Month


In the pause

the year of our Lord

with moons soft skin surface

she did remember

ashamed to be on cemetery road

with a wearisome lover , a toxic presenter .

her light lit in strangers

his first underground tantrum

the animals digging demanding ransom .

she did not die

she just went somewhere

the shrill trumpet

one long note , a siren cry .


in the pause

the lunar month kingdom come November

she did remember

relief to watch the fish swimming shallow

scales of gold leaf a washed in splendour

like spaceships on cathedral wall frescoes ember

with Saints and kings

their cut off heads in glass case transgender

again the drum , again the drum

she did not die , she did not die .


in the pause

in the headlights of the dark

she did remember

the moon , her body massive

a swell , no bones the cosmic fish anointed

river salmon swim the wrong way

yearning to be back home

the second tantrum

the compass north to abandon .

platinum gifts arranged before her ,

potatoes cooked in caves and grottos

a blind pony , perfect braids , a shiny shell anklet

the Good Harbor passage running

herds with broken heart clefts

a whirlpool startling birds

causing snake movements straight into a tree

where again the drum

booms lyrics now of Vermeer mood to see .


she did not die

she just went somewhere

the shrilling trumpet hallows

its final note , Michigani’s brutal storm

her throne to sail on rising confessions possession

again the drum , again the drum

she did not die , she did not die .


Last photo by Rosemary Alpert Photography