Mara Vahratian


Shortfingers Hip-Switch

(well I was born in the country so he thinks I’m easy to lose)


Crammed mailbox with oleander

(no evil intent)     and scrawl


—O my daily thought, my nightly     scheme




Absconder, the dishes done and all

double-negatives from your tongue

seem love of space.

And me, a bending to

—to make less of.

   You wash your clothes, I've got no


common sense. A calendar-count

after the first time     a reddish said wasn't—

and we were quiet a while.




Say summer. You inside but

eye stooping to flood, or porch

a port in storm. The town was


mudded, buried enough to


(baby, you oughta)






In the Yard, Purslane

(for autoharp, neglected his pale wildwood)


We could eat some. Lemon,

rock salt, it's done for

a sitting and locus proper:

patio. Surely I won't

call you Ezra and twine with

or did so, greens in mouth, lifting


dressbelt. Set feet. My-my.


Here, a wronged list

to pick and grin and you're him

who's down to defend the gatepost,

hipslung, say, sword of fire.

A byway of shuffled gums

the proof I'm up the primrose

walk, vetch under a pillow.






Trick Candle

(in which their third attempt at)


My hands full of capsicum and what a year's changes.

Steady the bedslats for a sleepwalker, no steady

footwork on Cartographer shaking

all his curls to constellate.


O turntable. O vernal equinox. All seen

needs washed—we can't lose more teeth

these days, jaws in pockets.

Some canopy and too lit and would

I ever have a darker town

                                      (count houses or palo verdes, count pause)


A heated space as how well, a bare-

armed rounding up to shoulders.