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I come undone

My favorite sweatshirt has a thread
I tug without thinking because my hands
need something to do while my mind
dives into warmer waters. She blushes
when I tell her I like her

ponytail hair loosed around her face
as if someone creased a ribbon
to tie a gift just for me. She smiles
when I look into her eyes
& talk about tomorrow &

other presents we’ll unwrap together.
I don’t know how long this string is
but my mind follows her, my fingers find
this thread & she chases all
other thoughts out of the pool.

Suspended in air

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.

I should buy a cowboy hat

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.

A hazy night

We sat on the beach tracing colors
of a sunset that would make poets of us all.
She thinks I’m a failed sentimentalist
swimming through snapshots of yesterday

as memories stretch thinner then molt —
sink — settle at the bottom of the sea. I can’t hold
my breath as well as I did that night
the waves sang an opera in shells flat under

the weight of the world. Moments that pool
together in murky water will stir up
a seabed. She saw the face of god
in a cloud but I’m hazier tonight.

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About Me

Phillip Knight Scott is a native of Durham, North Carolina, where he lives, writes, and watches old episodes of Doctor Who. He’s only recently published his first collection of poems: Paint the Living, Plant the Dead. His poems have appeared in numerous publications including Galway Review, Vita Brevis Press, Olive Skin, Spillwords, and others.

His debut novel, The Alien in the Backseat, is available on Amazon.

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