With the tides

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.
She wears
her wrinkles when she smiles
to remind me the world
circles heavenly bodies
in its own time.

The tide
goes low if we wait long enough
& still the stars circle her
hair dancing on the air
so we wade deeper tomorrow.

Life is a neighborhood

where trees stand on the edge of memories
& guard property lines

where adults provide more shade
under well-worn baseball caps

where each day starts with yes
even if the sun hasn’t stumbled
into view yet

where the smell of mowed grass cuts faraway
scenes to its perfect height

where nearly everything that has happened
is in the past

or tucked neatly beneath the surface
under a wide-brimmed hat

where the shade is alive & she whispers
because the lights are on.

Thunder tonight

I woke up asleep on the couch, the pins in my hand
needling me to move

& though the night insists on darkening our days
like a blanket tossed

over the lampshade to dull the intensity, still
she shines. This night

should know that thunder waits smiling
beneath her skin

pounding through pores in sweet moments
that bounce like static

which makes the air smells sharp & the days
are never dull.

French-pressed

If we made an Eiffel Tower
out of lemon pulp and limbs
would the neighbors jeer from moss-green door frames
or merely envy the taste? Would you offer

a cuppa
to the unarmed crowd
even if they couldn’t put their finger on it?

Or should we visit the Louvre
in picture books while we curl
up on the sofa
wrapped in a blanket
& each other
French-pressed
coffee raining on the table.

For the light

December refuses to jump
fully into Winter, thin strings of green
poke through hollow white snow
stretch toward aching gray skies
trying to swallow the Earth.

Another year beckons us
with resolutions to stretch
like a sapling discovering brighter spaces
in a slowly graying world.

The world revolves around love
each orbit brings seasons
of color and flavors
too potent to survive
alone — I taste the cold
metallic daze hidden in clouds
the world unfocused

until the sunrise
lights her face
reds replace gray
she sees me again

A belt in the sky

I can almost hear the rhapsody of stars
singing of a hunter whose belt
cinched tight holds the sky above

my head rests uneasy

a frosty mask dotted with stardust
remains of something once
significant, other matter occupies

my mind struggles starlorn

the universe is expanding, adding
infinity to forever & the song
is swallowed in the earth’s atmosphere

Fragrant fragments

I borrow moments from your future
because the past
smells old

sneakers left in the rain while you slept
inside. Slept and slept
until

what has become of you
comes nearer to what has become of me
awake for the first time. I can remember

looking forward
a lighthouse on the beach drawing circles
fussy hermit crabs finding new homes

the smell of salty sea air
seemed far away though it waved to me
I shouldn’t speak of nose hairs

something dances inside me
aromas of tomorrow. Inside now

today’s heartbeat thumps
this banging

growing louder as we get closer
bang bang

stealing from tomorrow only enlarges
the craving

pounding right now
now you’ve become my very blood

the oxygen I pull in my nose

breezy with age

banging

The sound of fire

I still see music (though
I doubt others can) when
she sticks her tongue out,
that playful wit flickering

just behind her eyes
as she impishly invites me
to join her by the fire.

Before, I went through life
in shadows trying to make
as little noise as possible,
but she lit a spark inside me.

Now flames flutter in rhythm
to the kindred tune rustling
between my melting ears,

at home in the
boisterous warmth —
she makes faces
just for me.

In the fruit bowl

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,
strawberry juice
on the corner of my mouth.

Spider’s web

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.

That itch

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.