I’ve often used people to talk to,
sometimes, my children, other times you.
So don’t be too concerned if I wonder
how you’re doing, just grab some nectarines
and get in that really great position in bed.
Our last episode was the night
of the New Mexican night lion.
Since then I’ve done some things.
The children have grown well.
Their mother lives in Missouri while I rode in and out
of the Hill Country, made a few Texas records.
Made a few more on the Oakland streets with my son.
Moved south into an Airstream trailer
on a Ventura road that the wildfires left alone.
I live there now below the mountains
called the Transverse Ranges.
This evening — I’m working
from the hard end of the pile –
Where my brother, Russell, got lost in the flow —
then two of my sisters, Sarah and Amanda —
whose lives closed not so ago.
My mother’s been gone a long time.
My father’s cough took him there too.
We’ve moved on from all those acres farmed
to other kinds of active poems with literary purposes.
In closing, I’m sending you a Moscow salad of writing
because you’re a woman I’ve always admired.
But tonight — we’re retiring with an aging tool. Meaning,
there’s an old musical player by my bed — an early Edison.
where they wound the cylinder
and lowered the needle into the wax.
Sending out a rough flawed sound —
which goes on until the thing runs down — Johanna…