She is dangling in the afternoon like Autumn
on the breeze, painting the horizon in her
favorite colors. I like to think the purples are just
for me as they frame the greens on trees
she’s allowed to stay a little longer.
October finds a way of fanning its leaves
until the hills burn with Autumn & still she traces
the sky with echoes of the sun’s brushstrokes
suspended somewhere in the atmosphere
she always knows where they land.
I put the day together like a puzzle but leave
it out of the box so the clouds can play
a major chord. Soon she’ll sing the stars
into a symphony while I taste grapes
on her lips, greens and purples linger.
As she counted off her medical history one
swollen finger at a time, I saw that feral cat
still self-conscious enough to clean
herself with her tongue. There are always
more cats & daylight doesn’t dim fireworks.
I hear them calling me, the sun making
an apprentice of the moon but still chasing
the dark from my eyes a few minutes longer. I find
comfort with the blanket over my ears
— I can still hear the bangs as I fall asleep.
I realized last night I face West when I lay
drifting to sleep. There must be something healing
in following the sun — she hasn’t mentioned
maladies since I sought that haven & I think
about cats as I shower for the journey.
The specials hang precariously
from the menu as we wait
for our drinks or some other memento
of the night. Somewhere a gambler’s
sullen request for a crown
of a different suit threatens to upset
the atmosphere before evaporating
like vapor, airily passing
our server on the way from the kitchen.
She says Issac Newton is floating
in her head & I crave an apple but
I’ll settle for a journey where the sun picks
a number & lets us settle
on a sliver of the wheel. The specials fall
from my menu but there’s no law
against that. The server takes
our orders & the night feels endless.
August lacks the willpower to hold its breath
through a summer storm. No, the gusts
of a petulant season mark time
on our window, the rhythm of rain soaking me
to tranquility even in the face of ferocity.
Red-faced & resolute, even summer must end —
I see its breath, I see the wind, I see
the trees return to repose as the sky blues again.
We all have endings but with a pilgrim’s optimism
I start on another page of this diary, determined
to find more white sheets have been inked
in the months that fall somewhere
behind a summer storm’s last howl.
The tempest brought more
than rain, sprinkling magic
on marble-topped memories
that called from a dream
still shipwrecked. The sun tries
to break the spell but hope
flourishes in the light & she enjoys
showing off her tan. Though the tide
may wash visitors ashore or pull
other spirits out of a hat, she drinks
me in wearing tails.
We sing along with the wind
as it pampers our skin, seasoned
from days in the sun. The leaves
rustle in accompaniment
as if the evening knew the rhythm
it merely borrows the tune
breath tied together on the breeze.
The sea is high again
today, with a thrilling flush
of wind that circles us
like the willows that weep
around the lines we draw
in the dirt.
her wrinkles when she smiles
to remind me the world
circles heavenly bodies
in its own time.
goes low if we wait long enough
& still the stars circle her
hair dancing on the air
so we wade deeper tomorrow.
The sun headed west to better places
leaving us in the dark
as to when to expect it again.
You guessed tomorrow but I thought
we should wait & see. After reflecting,
the moon thought our question salty
and refused to share an opinion.
I watch her saunter through the room
because there’s nothing on tv
& anyway the flickering light
from the sun bounces off her cheeks
like a spotlight directing my attention
to curtains before static-clung scenery.
She moves in solid waves of hope,
weaving through well-worn furniture
with the confidence of a lioness tip-toeing
through stalks of grass, though she’d never
let grass stains set on the sofa.
On sun-soaked afternoons like this I return
from a long walk — the breeze
almost too cool, reminding me
February is not of one mind
though it’s more hopeful
than some. I sit & think about the spark that hangs
like a moonbeam near her ear as the tv
dissolves to static & she closes
the curtains — her prey frozen
in the dark.
She absorbs the food
in her bowl, not chewing
but vacuuming the thing
clean. And why not? She doesn’t know
clocks — doesn’t know
there will be another meal
in 12 hours, or what 12 hours is,
or what 12 is, only that the wait
feels like an elephant
sitting on her chest & just breathing
is swallowing mud in a storm.
One twelve makes a year
two twelves a day & a dozen eggs
last a week. Clocks mark the time
but never tell the story. Mine
didn’t start with you but
hands spin us together so all that turns
are pages of our book, the clockface
breathing easy as the chapters
swallow us whole.
Her voice nibbles on my ear
like a woodwind instrument
in a register she didn’t know
existed. I find myself whistling
that tune & thinking
of sour candy, the sweet face
she interrupts with her tongue
so I laugh in the same hushed key.