Joe Somoza
Genesis


The words made me do it,
the same words that others
mis-interpret, and, by so doing,
take the light out,
the light that woke me up
and out
the window
to the plaza, where the other boys
were playing handball
in the morning cool
before adult responsibility--
the words
sprinkled in my ears
while I was sleeping, curled
around a dream. "Wake up,"
they said. "Now we want to
speak about it."




Backwater


I think I've sat in the yard so long
that the yard
becomes me--
with its autumn rake and trim,
its green leaves anticipating
changes, the cinderblocks
piled so high they turned
to walls.
For all I know, the doves and
grackles know my name.
Each leaf, such as that redbud
falling, must have had
ambitions once.
Now, we're all enclosed
together, sailing quietly
over the hours and days,
dependent on city noises
to link us to the larger world
purportedly
out there, beyond
grape trellis, chaise longue,
and sleeping cats.