The Eskimo Curlew
gave Columbus his sign

that land wasnÕt far,
preventing mutiny,

staving his madness.
I look for signs,

a modicum
of energy,

the ripening
of bananas

on the kitchen counter,
almost black, so sweet.


Blessedness Is a Craving

light the lop-sided candle
in a dish on the dresser
rub ointment into scars
on her back and shoulders

croon forever
or play the untuned piano
notes that find
your fingers



Across the street
from me now,
three men slowly
carry a new furnace
into the house.
They side-step
the huge machine
up the walk,
struggle inside.

I wonder
which of the three
goes home to toast
his failures, which hides
in the stale musk of love,
which settles
on a thinned sofa
with pen and pad
to coerce the fears
that bind him,
with words
like this and here
and now?


The Signs

To last,
think of Hank Greenberg.
love her seams,
but remember
the signs. Two
fingers swiped
across the chest
means take.
The difference
between victory
and defeat may be
simple chatter,
laying down
the perfect bunt.
Make her happy.
of the pitcher's stare.
You'll need to reinvent
the law of averages.


My Human Brain Coloring Book

I discover Crayola lacks
ganglia gray and cerebral
burnt sienna. On a whim,

modula oblongata
gleams in day-glo yellow,
whole lobes spin sky-blue.

Synapse gaps canÕt resist
tangy tangerine,
epithalamus riots

in rainbow, pons flow
a deeper shade of marine.
I learn the ins and outs

of fissure still struggling
to stay within the lines.

© Jim Zola