Three Circle Poems For Tucson

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I. Sunset after the long day

So many things a bullet can do
and most of all only one.
The weather just turned in Tucson;
it hadn’t seemed so cold this morning.

Most of all in this one, this
late dawn-drenched pueblo, sun metal-warm,
it hadn’t seemed so cold this morning
until bullet screamed first.

Gunmetal warm, tear-split pueblo,
a bullet interrupts, echoes, lingers
until all have screamed without wanting.
An exit wound in me, in every chest:

one bullet can find many bodies.
The political climate had slowly turned,
unforecast violence in every chest;
so many things a bullet can do.  

II. For my mother’s favorite politician

Most of all only one:
her smile rare for política. Smile,
the kind that seems a heart.
This morning your breaths are yours again.

A política rare, smiling:
contact at palms, one by one.
That morning your breaths stolen.
Finding them floating, you inhale them back.

Palms in contact, each one
with tears beading in palms,
find ourselves floating–
pull each other back– a smile is a circle we inhale,

deeply, until like you, we smile
the kind that seems a heart.
A circle breathed for each other
but most of all for only one.  

III. After Barack Obama

How well we have loved,
each of us, in our time,
widening ourselves into circles,
holding all inside our ribs.

But each of us in this time–
our instincts sharpened for gain–
hold all we can inside our stomachs
until each, alone, is sick with wanting.

Now, sharpen our instincts for empathy,
expand our moral imaginations
until solo sick wanting, left alone,
evaporates. We make believe

that all is already here,
widening the circle of our concern,
condensing our belief that now, making
each other well, we will love.

Three Circle Poems For Tucson by dirtyverbs