Timothy O'Keefe

Quadrilateral: Soluble

Where recollection fails, the body takes a fuller stride :
Like books you keep for the marginalia. A dead friend’s boots :
I can listen to the icicles melt and almost no one says much :
We’re each given a palm’s width of ocean. All the way down.

Quadrilateral: A Theory of Late Twentieth-Century America

A geriatric labradoodle wakes on a trampoline, the same :
Kids out making nowhere of themselves :
The new-growth sycamores prove a highway ornament :
Twin recliners in TV light. Hushed inside the voluble snow.

Quadrilateral: And Orpheus Was Never So Old

Crows will be crows. They skim and scatter you, who knows :
Soft hands, soft thought. The farthest earlobe you ever touched :
Outside, the mob gathers its silence like a bell :
Kicking cans in the mustard light. Back and gone. Going back.

Quadrilateral: Ideas About the Thing

What begins is a percept and we are what the percept begins :
Aghast, the war. No trumpet fits this embouchure :
Come March, we’ll wake wild and roam the topiary zoo :
That’s a history. That box of trophies in a stranger’s basement.

Quadrilateral: Red-Handed Blue

Lend me your brutes, your Dargers, your unlessonable pains :
We chose the hotel but not the selves that entered :
I love you the way a severed head loves a serving tray :
Dogs play and play their game into being. God is simpler than that.

Quadrilateral: Green Night

Something itches the years-ago, wallpapered rooms, an exacting pattern :
People pass by people passing for themselves passing people :
That the dead we convey within might carry us on without :
Dawn. Building. Sheer. Height. I was just myself today.

Quadrilateral: Adult Lullabies

Chitchat and highballs. Thus the decades, plush as zeppelins :
Rivering peal, rivering whorl, shut-eye river we swallow that pearl :
Occasionally, in heaven, their eyes drift downward to the thought of heaven :
She lights the mossy walk. Steals the tongue from his every tower.

Quadrilateral: Beckoning Epitaph

All wash and welter and the creek can’t quiet its dulcimer :
Mid-distance, a figure turns, stays turning :
The least of night fills the broken bowl :
The capital galleries dim together. One portrait keeps winking.