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.
I dreamt last night I was in
a ribbon-stitched competition
& though its details are lost
to the murky meanderings
of sleep, the image of her cheering
the loudest in the crowd
stayed with me
through the morning.
I’m tempted by stubborn clocks
that tick on lemon-kissed walls
to believe the world changes
in the sunlight, but no matter the hour
I hear her over the noise
calling me home.
We approach the future as we do
this deep fog: hopeful but still
watching for shit between steps
in the still sleeping field You suggest
we walk towards the sun but I plan
on a long journey & don’t want to walk
in circles Instead we hold the light
dear as it clears the mist ahead
The field melts into a path of thistle-
kissed sun-dipped clarity
so we skip clean-shoed through the day.
I lost myself in discovery,
the crushing essence of a
I haven’t worn
since the funeral. I’ve practiced
the craft of nodding
small talk since, though
it fits as well as
that old jacket. Some things
I have no trouble throwing
out, while others cling
like a dryer sheet
waiting to tumble from a shift sleeve.
The program from
the memorial is still
in the inside breast pocket & I’m still
a pall bearer struggling
to carry the load while
the powder blue jacket hides in the back
but not forgotten.