My favorite entry in the old encyclopedias,
its inclusion meant they must exist:
Ann Boleyn and her head pacing the tower,
the vanishing hitchhiker at the roadside.
My grandmother, in a white nightgown,
white haired, rearranging clouds.
Headlight-glare in bubbled window glass, fragrant
explosions of lilacs bursting around us in the dark.
Those wild geese that flew low over your head
as your dear friend passed away on the other coast.
A Civil War soldier who paced a friend’s room
when he was three (though he was a liar).
Resonant piano notes that bring back
his hands on my body, those long nights.
In a desert ghost town, late: coyote’s howl,
then later still, low notes of an owl, a summons.
Voices within the churn of the waves,
like a radio’s murmur I only hear at night.
In the rented farmhouse, moans of winter wind
from the open barn door’s black throat.
the dire fate
of the monarch