The canal is narrow and nearly waterless        
         for a stretch, more trough than passageway

          -- hard to imagine boats coming up it
          laden with cotton or coffee

walking along, we get to where it is navigable again
and then to where it expands abruptly
to pond-size,

as though there were a muscle in it
that flexed

“is that turtle drowning” my daughter asks

that would be the mama turtle
and she isn’t drowning
        i
t only looks like the weight
        of that baby on her back is more
        than she can handle

watch how she sinks
and then recovers

the bulk of her reappearing like an islet
when high waters recede

Mama turtle’s got this


(Hellenistic era, in bronze, National Gallery)

some of these characters
seem taken aback

by their presence here
(bewilderment on a face
retrieved from the sea off Brindisi)

but not the orator,
arm out to hush the crowd
of museum-goers

and not the star athlete,
scraping dust from his perfect body
with an invisible strigil


Gloaming's a less-heard
word for it:

from a distance, the wild geese
seem to be crossing
a snowy plain,

going towards a massive sound in the woods
as though it drew them,

a noise like thousands of whistles
or screams on a speeded-up tape
from within the assembly of oaks

while a boy at roadside places a camera
on its small tripod -- "time lapse
of how the light changes"


(body trick)

curling your fingers
into your palm,
press with your nails
until it hurts a little,

like handling snow.
Let go and you'll feel
a string in your lifeline --

you can pull it


white as the inside
of a coconut

snow encases the trunks
of the pines and wild cherries

whose tops draw crazy circles
when the wind picks up --

everything wants to get into everything else's space


(space misfit)

thinking of Han Solo, astonished,
his hand on Kylo Ren's face --

and Kylo, dark prodigy, saying
you'd have been a good dad,
Dad

if