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Pinching

I am stuck
at the beginning,
pinching
at rice like
the expectant mother
pausing
out of breath
mid-stair.
The other side is often pregnant.

Intention grows
even in
chilled winds,
germinating while
we fixate elsewhere,
though
I don’t always recognize
its birth.
Tomorrow takes its own word for granted.

Ambition shoves us
forward,
though I wish
I could
stop long enough
to admire
the track, rushing,
stuck at the
start.
Light thaws in its own time.

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Just breathe

You look confused, eyes tangled
in bewilderment, unsure what comes
next. Flustered words slowly swim
upstream, tangled in the waterweeds
and obscuring the direction
of the current sweeping
your feet out from underneath.

Breath. Collect your thoughts — they are
but two-cent pieces taking
up space in a piggy bank you had
hoped fattened by now, or full enough
at least for the both of us.
I’ll be here when you’re ready.

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In the black

What mystery lives in the black,
those dark corners where light
fears to enter, abandoning
sharp edges for the comfort
of round sides and smooth edges.

The charade may encircle us (eyes
blind the gust of puzzles pointing us
in the wrong direction) binding us
to this place in knots of fear
that only the unrevealed can tie.

I choose to embrace the dark,
the baffling ambivalence that bubbles
when we feel underwater, though
the lake remains half full
whatever lurks beneath.

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The voice

I heard the voice — whirling in my ears
like a breeze whistling on leaves
with the bluster of November not expecting
December to overshadow it — though
in my delirium I could not find it.

The voice — alien and incoherent as it seized
my mind without a through to the impression
it left — told me to leave (bounded
in lunacy and invisible) to
the irrational rabble wrapped in regret.

Was it mania — a psychic knot tied
to some forgotten tram unspooling and
unwelcome — or merely benign?
I am not delusional enough
to think I know the difference.

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Play in dreams

Let’s play in dreams tonight among
fanciful half-drawn adventures that
reflect reality while sharing
a majestic illusion that feels slept in.

I think I’ll fly through a world
of my own making, one great
with clocks that don’t tick but
houses often dance like jumping beans
on a record player I can’t turn off.

You’ll be there – or at least
my mental image
of you – to share an expansive world
of fantasy and sweeping lands
of rolling reveries.

Let’s get lost in dreams tonight, 
entranced by enchanted visions
extending before us while we share
this queen bed barely slept in.

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Nightmare flower

There’s not enough coffee in the pantry
to poison the nightmare flower
growing inside my mind this Monday morning –
a menacing thought blooming in shadows.

What phantoms creep in darkness,
wakeful vigils watching
through keyholes while moonless skies sway
then give way
to the quiet sun cheering for someone to hear?

The sun is too loud.

She dropped the seeds in my ear while I was sleeping
then evaporated, leaving me
a farmer diluted, hosing my brain with
caffeine while my wetter winks paint sorrow
in neat rows not yet tilled.

What blossom sprouts in dejection,
rotten and unwanted
I sit wishing the sun would retreat or retract
or simply retrace its steps in reverse?

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Another day at the grocery store

They found forever among the Froot Loops,
halfway between Frosted Flakes
and immortality in that special place
under the lasting look of a toucan and tiger
eyeing whatever future spills
in colorful milk poured before them.

When they once again crossed carts
in the frozen aisle of Eggos
and perpetual loneliness, they let go
of forever – it now tasted stale,
iced over and bland. No amount of salt
and preservatives could save them.

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Marriage well worn

What to say of a marriage
well worn? She’ll dive into a coffee
pot this morning, swimming
into another day as hours do laps
around the clock.

Her eyes – from what I can see –
refuse to accept the daylight,
fighting a battle she’s lost before but,
ever hopeful, lashes out once more
against the sun.

I place a hand on a coffee mug and
pledge allegiance in whatever wars await
after her hair is dried and our son
once again demands we mix
water and milk.

For a few minutes, we are a couple
embracing small moments crackling
with sparks the same they have
all these years even as the clock dances
through another day.

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