There are many hours

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
enthusiastically
calling me home.

Unexpected jolts

That light switch always gives
a little shock
when I touch it in this dry January air
& still every time
it surprises me like a goldfish
circling the same water, losing its place
without a thought.

She sends a similar spark that lifts me
into the air
with that smile that could never
ground me
& I’m jolted into jagged lines
of unexpected experiences once again lost
without a worry.

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.

New year

A year is just a product
of its age, days adding up
until finally a new year springs
to life, breathing in hope

among waves of salty beach
air. The sun screams its ascent
as it climbs out of the ocean,
lifting our spirits like
champagne glasses toasting

absent lights. Up and down
is a binary distinction I’m resolved
to overcome, like gravity
or monotony I must rise above.

I see clearly this year beginning
differently than last — your eyes
floating in my dreams,
fragrant in my breath.

Asteroids (collision)

And after forever the gin-flavored breeze
remains like a tonic
police sirens
caught in the wind & blown miles
off course
bath water salty from the tide
coming in, then out
before silence
collapses on us both and stars
like beer-battered fish leap into Milky Way sauces.

In all the universe I chose my way
but did not see her coming
asteroids crash
to make a new world of ocean-swept
grounds
the smell of coffee fireworks pop
in approval
an alarm shatters the dark alerting
us to tides turning abruptly
the first sound
I’ve understood now sings in unison always.

Two drum beats

The rain drums on my umbrellawith a cadence I don’t recognize        stealing the quiet                rattling fallen leaves with lyrics written in clouds        dripping rhythmically in rowsbeneath the evergreen. The green seems to arguewith the browns wrapped over the ground        crunching underfoot                quieter now        or perhaps drowned outbeneath the drums. And still I feel like singing alongwith the melody, those notes ofContinue reading “Two drum beats”

Reflection

The sun loses itself in its own
reflection
as it submerges into the lake tonight
vibrant curtains of light
pavonine stripes covering the skies
too proud
to go quietly into the dark.

I sit perplexed at such vanity —
bright feathered clouds
dissolve into

– waning wisps of water vapor
– moonlit memories of the day
– bullet lists in PowerPoints due tomorrow

as a whole world turns
from the show ready to
move on
I reflect on another day
more beautiful with her
here.

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

Christmas party

You smuggled a spreadsheet into the Christmas party
and sat in the corner while the host
served greetings from a -moon-rock-colored- platter,
decorative holly garnish threatening to devour
a pockmarked planet

You said the numbers didn’t add up
so I reviewed your every cell until we were both satisfied

Mercury the messenger carries the one
around the sun
we make a silent night of the party.

Measure the light

We measure the light by our phones
alerting us to the revelry in the skies
jet engines rumble
in our heads

passengers shuffle papers between
layovers perhaps
unable to sleep
preoccupied by an elbow
hanging over the armrest

just a bit too far — even in my head
I’m anxious —
jigsaw puzzle bruises groan in purple

Instead I look to her
radiant bands in her palm
clouds dripping salt water taffy
between our fingers

somewhere a fire
extinguishes ordinary evenings
grape jelly jet fumes
spread over exhausted toast

& us with sticky hands on a black night
creating our own light.

Memories

I don’t blame trees for blanketing
the grass
in brown memories of greener
months
nor the sun for plunging out
of view
while the clock still has hours left
to roll.

I’ve noticed that time moves at its
own pace
& memories come in different
colors
some at pleasant octaves we sing
along with
others hum so softly we don’t
notice them.

My earliest memories of you feel new
like yesterday
and worn in like a hundred years
of polish
dazzling as they hang from a pedestal
of stars
outshining even my brightest
wishes.

Scenes of home

I see her face familiar
the smell of butter warming
in a pan before
grilled cheese sandwiches

houndstooth pattern
transcribed from the sofa
to my cheek
on a lazy Saturday afternoon

James Taylor slowly pouring
from the speakers
like hot water in a mug
of Mom’s instant coffee

Her face double-exposed
over older memories
scenes of home flashing
from her propulsive influence

purifying moments woefully absent
of that face — the second place
I consider home
has always been there.

A statue

She lingers at the door, silent except
for the half smile singed on her lips

like a historical marker trying to freeze
a moment in time. We’re older but I swear

she hasn’t aged a day since this morning —
those green eyes still coyly tow me in

and I’m a wreck for her. I could build
a monument to this moment, one of many

that holds a place at the center of me —
cemented to last well beyond my life.

She lingers at the door, but calls me home.

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

Skipping stones

I want to imbibe herlike skipping stones collecting waterfrom a lake beforefinally giving in. Listen to the sound of ripplesleaving furtive clues to the jewelhidden underthe billowing surface. Rocks sink butshe glitters with stardust underher fingernails & I cravea noiseless supernovaunbound by gravity. I want I want I want <splash> © 2021 | Phillip KnightContinue reading “Skipping stones”

Words stay

The wind whispers stolen words
taken from us —
now lost in the quiet —
echoes like moonlight
twirling on glow-in-the-dark pajamas.

I swear I remember the night
we first spoke, the words
tucked in my pajamas pocket
so I could dream
more soundly in the voiceless dark.

We don’t call the wind thief
nor begrudge its bluster
for we often find ourselves
speechless on nights when
we come together as mirrored souls.

All her words stay with me,
hoarded away so they’re mine
& ensure she is
not a muffled muse —
she shouts me into existence.

komorebi

She moves through me
like sunlight swims through the trees,
energizing / enchanting
me at dawn / me at dusk
& I live because she travels thousands
of miles to nourish me.

The sun moves across the sky
sharing heat no matter the season,
high spirits / low shadows
in summer / in winter
& I’m warmed as I drink her in
like an oaky Scotch whiskey.

The cue ball

I watch the cue ball bolt
confidently across
the green sea of a pool table
with expert precision

much the same way that
she bounced into my life
at a right angle
and by degrees knocked
me from my stupor.

Like that billiard ball jolted
from idleness I’m sailing
on an unexpected journey
through waters
uncertain of the destination

but confident that she
left enough top spin
to accompany me
wherever the waters take us.

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.