Postal Code

Postal Code


What is the address for the stars?

On street corners,

I am punching old numbers into a broken

cash machine with its empty dollar lungs.

The satellites stop over heavy cloud.

They cannot pinpoint your curling eyelash,

the laughter in empty corners, this map

of a cartographer’s wet dream.

I am standing on the outside of quiet alleys,

knocking on closed doors of skin. Your body

is no compass;

it is all deserts

and solitude.

Where do I leave a message?

I am writing letters

and forgetting where you live.

It is raining too much these days,

bodies need bodies to stamp dreams on.

I am listening to a piano playing itself,

a chromatic beachcomber picking minor


we roll like

dissonant waves.

I sing to an empty house.


What is it about some songs?

They make you want to wail with them,

the chorus a wound up engine screaming

night, an angry riptide, drowned hearts of

a scarred universe where I am

playing on these four chords, some found

melody stolen from the throat of a bird.

I would like to kiss you,

to give you all my attempts to speak,

but I cannot find the way to your mouth,

and your words spill out like a nest,

twigs and leaves

building the language

of a different city.

No wonder I cannot find home.


Restaurant Window
Rue de Paradis, Paris (2012)


Here is where the bullet
removed its copper jacket,
where it knocked on glass
with splayed fingers.

Where the tablecloth has
spread itself out in fear.
Where the menu lies
cracked open, undecided.



the dead are gentle

the dead are gentle to us
we carry them on our shoulders
sleep under the same blanket

close their eyes
adjust their lips
pick a dry spot
and bury them

not too deep
not too shallow

—  Zbigniew Herbert, from “Our Fear”
(translated by Czeslaw Milosz and Peter Dale Scott)