His father the lawyer his mother the nun.
His mother of the backwoods Ball Washingtons.
His father of Queens his grandparents of the cemetery
in Queens. His brother the region south of the Volga.
His childhood in the backyard in Connecticut,
his father turning over heavy stones,
and the two of them pulling centipedes in the morning.
He means to keep them in a box he
traces his lineage in newts and sand.


His father the German his mother from France.
The armies the lips the town by the sea.
The flash of a dress the day in the country,
and a month on a ship. The pretty apocryphal homeland,
and his lost body flat on the shore of stones hard
like cheekbones like elbows and knees.


The Mediterranean rises like someone
meaning to remember. The night does not define.
A girl in Nice who hates to dance,
and a balcony filled with gulls.

He plays the night like a toy piano.
He slows to a body unlike his own.
He wakes and rests in the sea.
His body takes space in the water,
a thin white flag in the sun.