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Dear Diary

I am waiting for a goat to chew carnations
at my window. A million stars go dark

in walls like men I have kissed at the right
time for the wrong reasons. But this is not

about numbers or how my steps sink
in a quicksand of longing. This is about

weird word pairings—lichen and fang—
soaring like wrens for erasure in Heaven.

I return, indent, and try to name
ten living painters whose palettes run

the gamut of blues. Zebra, rucksack, valley,
Where is my hymnal, my bellweather

song? Bleating, you arrive like flowers.








The moon is a feather. The hour smoke.
Green like a river the mountain is red.

A mule descends a yellow thread.

It carries on its back a door
on which is carved a hall of doors.

Penitents, paramours, chapel of bone—
who will remember the names of birds?

In the heart of this desert
no horse, no spear

a horseman spears a nation of water.







Two Cadae from The Burning Door

If I could
would live in it—


crudely-built bird house
of scarred worm wood balanced just beyond
the reach
of my extended arm—

or at least visit

once or twice
to confirm what I
have no firm basis to believe:
the floors are lined with soft white feathers
the walls painted sixteen greens.




A keepsake:
hand-printed words


a scrap of yellow
legal paper     each word two spaces
the one that comes before

it and six of those

with a line
crossed through like a road.
But what about the other three?
Cardio, candles, fertilizer—
these are the words of the dead.




Tony Leuzzi

Tony Leuzzi is the author of Radiant Losses (New Sins Press, 2010) and The Burning Door (Tiger Bark Press 2014). In 2010, BOA Editions released Passwords Primeval, Leuzzi's interviews with 20 American Poets.


The Brooklyn Rail

MAY 2014

All Issues