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The book The House of the World has been nominated for the Pulitzer Prize and is now available on Amazon.


I have a bologna sandwich.
The water slaps against the boat.
The sun plays truant in the clouds.
Kelley’s Island is a dark line on the lake.
My father, Reuben,
whose name I never used,
baits the line of my mother,
whose name I never used.

My brother,
my half soul,
double star,
nascent moon,
fends for himself,
as I do
in the swell of the bay.
The great stone of time has stopped,
a wide presence.

Reuben, how old is your son?
Ten years? Eleven years?
I’ve forgotten.
The fish bite occasionally.
I am as old now as I was then.
I am in the middle of the milky way.
Between oceans of stars,
the russet orange of peaches
on Catawba,
falling like planets.

what moon rises from the water
for you?
The light is a gray curtain
on your face.
You seem in repose.
I want you to remember me.
Catch a fish.

And Mick,
whose name is as quick on my tongue
as my own.
Who decided our journey?
What remains of this place
60 years ago?
I am catching something on my line.
A perch has taken hold!
see the fish!
A keeper.

Pearl of green beauty,
kimono silk,
shaking on the line,
cold heartbeat in my hand.
You fell back into the deep.
I finish my sandwich.
I want everything to live,
return to places they belong.

Published inIndex of all Poems