At the approach of his severed head, 
the blood of St. Januarius 
started to boil in its vial. 
The miracle, it’s said, dressed down 

Your red monoammonium phosphate 
dissolved in boiling water 
cooled into crystals 
—almost, it seemed, living— 
that left us breathless. 

So after all the chat re: ecocide, 
to see some cyan Tic–Tacs, 
almost the color of icebergs 
dissolving, it’s said, 
like the revenge of the Titanic 

and the cherry Fanta our infanta spilled, 
ice cubes and all, pooled 
with every portent 
of Armageddon 
under a sun that dressed us down 

to the pale of my cradling arm.


It was a miracle narrowly averted, the day 
I died or would die. 
But when I saw the map of the flood plain, 
keyed in two shades, 
the hundred–year and the five–hundred–year, 
I was just floored. 

I was on the floor 
trying to stick a push–pin in my unlabeled street. 
My arm ached 
from a vaccine brewed in eggs and thimerosol. 
A health flier 
chimed eerily with the consumed metropolis, 

posing the question, 
Are your drinks consuming your weight loss? 
under, of all things, 
a smoothie. A pink, official form of something, 
as like to the roseate 
spoonbill as our derricks to St. Narcissus. 

Easter lamps 
required him to turn water into oil. 
Heading into Lent, 
it felt miraculous to be gazing down into blue, 
a push-pin dowsing 
for the address of my little house.


Billiards not orchards … 
Fallen by the pit bull’s caldera–like waterbowl, 

ripe oranges. 
Fallen likewise the sidewinding arm of an oak 

I’m thinking has some 
relation to shipbuilding not only for its perpendicular grain 

but for the high polish 
of its elongate acorn, which I never see hulled 

for all the squirrels 
I see in the air that they castle; for all that they were logged 

because never waterlogged; 
for all that the sidewinding arm might pitch something 

beyond the hearing 
of the nightingale St. Francis had a singing contest with 

but not beyond the pit-bull 
who won’t be placated when the next gale plays pool.


By the tooth of St. Cuthbert 
I swear I’d rather be sent down the river Were 
than wheel this backyard crematorium 
to the underpass where the crackheads 
could use a little grilling. 

I’d ask why the gate was agape 
yet no crumb taken, 
not even this crematorium piled with soft ash 
of cherry woodchips; 
not even the mosquito repellant. 

As a fire sucks on a cherry woodchip 
I was slow to see the hen, 
the stock–still hen, 
lurking around the urns 
of mint and rosemary, 

the only herbs ornery enough 
to survive the freezes. This was where 
my gardening had been arrested 
last August thanks to a 
thousand mosquitoes. 

St. Marcarius, in remorse 
for killing a mosquito, sat in a swamp. 
How soft the hen, 
when I handed her back across the fence 
with my intrinsic mitts.


It’s so odd that at last 
a little black lamb became my shadow. 
A schnoodle. A Puck. 
As the parachute behind the dragster, 
I’m blown into parataxis. 

I’m on my way to school, 
blown into parataxis, 
like Mary and her little lamb. 
The palms are frapped 
in the hyper–zephyrs. 

And when I make much ado 
about calling my father 
and encountering his dementia 
while looking across the room, 
to catch my son, 

and my father in his face, 
then I remember the Mary 
who conjured snow 
on the fifth of August, 
marking her territory. 

I’m blown into parataxis 
with relation to a red leash 
and a schnoodle’s fugue. 
He says, I’ll raise you a black sheep 
from a lamb shadow.