Tomorrow unwinds itself
on the tomato vine, redder
than yesterday but still
not as juicy if I could just
wait another day.
Patience tastes sour
on my tongue — lemon juice
forcing a pucker on my lips —
and while the days
pile up like fruit in a fruit bowl
I still turn to you to replace
my sour face
with something sweeter,
on the corner of my mouth.
You are my first breath
and while dreams linger
— a gallery of half-remembered
that left an impression
on my heart —
I know whatever comes with
my second breath
I can survive if you stay
until my final breath.
Morning arrived with an icy slap
of good intentions — a cheeky
reminder to weather another day.
The sun illuminates colorful leaves
left lazing through the autumn night,
packed tight by soles of passersby
enjoying the crush underfoot.
Sometimes I think I’d like to unpack
my soul and watch it pour
onto the ground just to see
the size of the mark you’ve left on it.
In the light we could marvel at the brilliance
of two souls cascading leisurely
together through whatever passes.
Insomnia took root in the fragments of the night
that buzzed through my mind like an earthquake
swaying my base and screeching for attention.
It’s a monster.
The persistent ogre waits to spring,
even as I hide under cover
beneath the canopy of stars stretched
too tightly this cool evening.
Of course love is fearless, steadfast as it sustains us.
Those stems that sprout where we sow seeds
have the power to overwhelm weeds that found root
and together we drown out the din entirely.
I sleep soundly at last.
I didn’t intend to disturb
the spider’s web as it twinkled
in the last of the evening light.
I was mesmerized by the soft knell
of the wind chimes announcing
the end of another day, the dirge
distracting me from the poor arachnid’s
impressive work. What remains seems
inadequate, or at least insufficient,
to capture dinner, and I wonder
if the spider will eat tonight
or begin work on another web,
empty stomach cursing the giant
thoughtless storm who lacked
the sense to walk around the glinting
piece of art now disappearing underfoot.
The memory we created that night
comes asking for blueberries when I close
my eyes. Purple juice carries more weight
when pinched between two fingers.
Tomorrow jumps two ways if we let it. A comet
tells its tale for only a moment, though its arc
burns purple against black, as if we should
be expected to remember the contrast.
That night I held her hair in my fingers. Promises
of tomorrow whisper through me still, echoes
smoldering in a crescent-shaped bend near
places I had forgotten could feel warmth.
It’s precisely because you’ve let me in
to swim among parts of you veiled
from others but protected from dust
— unmistakably you.
The sky is a river to the stars if we can hold
our breath long enough to bathe among
the abundance of life born in stardust
— unmistakably you.
Love is the best thing we do as we travel
together through a luxuriant universe
that allows fated souls to preserve in pairs
— undeniably us.
If we were fairies we’d live
in the putt putt houses
at the Fun Park. We wouldn’t have
to mow the yard since
the grass is fake and we’d be
together. I probably should have
led with that. We could fly
among the boisterous kids
who won’t let their colorful golf balls
stop before striking them
again. I wouldn’t even assess
a penalty — I’d just float on air
with you, a perfect world
too enchanted for tilting at windmills
or other distractions.
We are binary stars, orbiting
our own center so close we may appear
as one. Perhaps we are — one heart
burning with choreography
set to its own beat. There’s a universe
out there, a kaleidoscope of stardust
swimming in a river of hope
where the future is bright
because two stars shine as one and
everything revolves around us.
My muse wears dark hair
when she chooses. When
she makes a decision
there’s confidence in her eyes
any foreboding before
it can take root.
It’s the roots
that first defy her. No one
else could resist her beguiling smile
when she resolves
to turn it up.
She inspires my own
if she turns up.
As you flip through the pages
of my life
— in an upturned book
left open just for you —
I hope this thought
will comfort you
just as you sustain me:
My love was a boat
adrift in a salty ocean
searching for port.
One day you volunteered
to be my anchor.
These pages turn
smoothly between your fingers.
I see myself in these birds. Or more accurately
me and you — the red hair gives you away
and green’s always been your favorite color.
My beard is coming in nicely, though both it
and my cowlick run a bit grayer these days.
Your hair may be gray too if you ever let it
grow out. But life should be colorful,
like leaves in Autumn contemplating the fall
when they can kiss the ground at last.
So let’s share this tree branch a little longer,
me and you — whatever colors come our way
will be richer together, shared with you.
Hope — or the appearance
of cloudy dreams lifting me
underfoot — can be heard on the horizon
disrupted by frenetic thunder
Fog — tribute to a once cloudy
future you’ve helped bring into
glasses — no longer obscures a rain-soaked path
we make this journey together
She appeared in my life, brilliant light
I thought an ephemeral dream
beyond my reach or, worse, destined
to disappear over the horizon
but she refused to be a shooting star
and instead burns in the daylight,
gleaming in grooves long in the dark.
Those in-between moments
when the harsh, austere world
us — like ink on newspaper
an otherwise bare home where time
isn’t written — may momentarily
me but my eyes will always find the white space,
unspoiled no matter what happens,
and my attention will always find its heart
the foundation my story grows upon —
a home in a hostile world,
no longer quite as lonesome.
It’s likely I’m in Autumn. The leaves
reflect the glint of the sun — lower
in the sky though still creating a schism
in the heavens — golden light
among yellow and red foliage.
I hang a bit lower these days. Maybe
I even glow a bit less bright — dimmed
over the years though still resolved
in my journey — silver hair
replacing livelier colors.
I aged without consent, unsure
how to ask the sun to find a new pastime —
one that doesn’t revolve around
changing seasons and forcing cheese
into mold. Technicolor life.
When I finally stopped ignoring
the itch and embraced the warmth
indigenous to that indiscernible link
we share like a rope tethered
to two unlit woodpiles
waiting for ignition,
the spark provoked the catalyst
to combustion that could cross an ocean,
igniting the very water
that thwarts less resolved attempts
at scratching at heat
that runs deep.
That macabre nightmare refuses
to desist, bubbling in my thoughts
like a frightening fountain whose faucet
runs only hot.
Only hot — those visions mock me,
scald my soul until scars fester
and ripple on the surface encircling
what was once me.
Once me — like a pest I’ve gone
too far and while you watched this pot
has boiled. All that remains is the drain,
once me (and you) run only hot.
I tried to generate destiny once,
scraping dreams from under
over-buffed rocks no longer showing signs
of weather sprinkled over millennia.
I suppose the clinical approach to fate
leaves little to chance and I often think
the odds that I somehow found you
But here we are. Winds pound rocks
into sand and I count myself lucky
that I no longer have to sift, looking for
what I’ve managed to uncover in you.
It was perhaps
in the glow
of the shooting star
the myriad wishes
from the tip of my tongue
as we fell further
into the night
ignoring the stars
at least for now.
I made a mess
of this sanctuary, this field
of pines and poplars
where sunlight thawed my mind
and allowed the outside
to invade like bark beetles
and wake me
from our tranquil dream.
I have found the discipline
to stay rooted in this paradise
the weeds crying for attention
and relax amid the bliss
born in the shade where
you and I
are alone in dreams.
She draws me in and I feel like a magnet
pulled into that smile. No that may
not be the right word. (Forgive me
for when she folds her lips just so
I am swept stupefied, left
revolving around that fiery red heart of a solar system
desperate to stay in the light
no matter the distance. I feel the void —
the emptiness when she falls out of focus
pushes my orbit awry while starlight
stings like gnats vying for attention, false light
merely pulling me deeper into darkness.)
Ah but she smiles — the gravity of the scene
is more than enough force to black out
all other light and center me where I belong.
No magnet could compete with that attraction.
What hope grows in the throats
of reflected trees, wondrous
wooded dreams pooled
together like a scarf spooled
down the back of a child,
not worried where it may wind up?
What are reflections if not
homages to something larger,
perhaps a portal for Autumn winds
to escort colorful leaves
like thread, drawing a home
wherever they may wind up?
I stand spectator, an insufficient
witness clouded by
though committed to protesting
against brick walls — some tangible,
others like blustery winds bellowing
little more than air, energy
wasted when what wonder
they might behold if only they could stray
near the provocative idea
that perception permits
multiple truths when walls fall.
What is me (protesting
sea of fire bellowing beyond
containment) calls for
what is you (mystical
winds churning opaque oceans
to life) from depths of
what waters (chasmic identity
obscured by a hint
of infinity) stubbornly separate us.