the amnesiac’s rhapsody
every time they met
he would wipe
her memories clean
with a palette knife
the next morning
she would wake
aromas and sensations
had even existed
tulips and bitten lips
a blues singer’s swollen lyric
a sculpt of shadow
a swig or a wing
that she mistook
he understood far better
having left each impression
like a love letter
the way artists
to dry on portraits
Just a Small Apocalypse
2 years ago, the world ended here.
That spring the prairie fire crab-
apple trees and winged spindles
were all fragrantly irradiated.
Visiting town, I no longer recognize
my friends or myself with them.
The heat is oppressive. We sit
by the street shouting over mufflers,
attempting to salvage something.
Ours was just a small apocalypse.
90% of all species, including trilobites,
perished during the Permian extinction.
Lizards dart from a thicket near
my old apartment. I take pains not
to step on them, noticing new
sidewalk cracks, fresh graffiti.
Inside the natural history museum,
my favorite mosasaur descends
from a skeletal mount. Her jaw is still
wide, her ribs still jutting, her spine