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And then

A funeral, then the beach –
tastes hot in my mouth,
clinging to top of my mouth,
lingering unwanted
black heat into the void.

The sun insists on spitting
spicy splinters of light,
splashing in my eyes, children
playing on retinas, harmless
and infuriating – such indifference.

A hurricane, then back home –
feels wet on my face,
showering on a young shopping cart
creeping to the bike rack
winding eyes wide in witness.

I dare not wade into
mischievous waters, churning
in the pit of my stomach,
longing for relax, last
to reach the calming land.

read more And then

Thought on another mass shooting

With thoughts and prayers to spare
(enough, I’m told, for at least
two or three interruptions to our
regularly scheduled programming) we

pause to denounce evil, that scourge
whipping us from behind, preventing us,
powerless to stop the news, from playing more
than accompaniment to the church bells

recording another too-short story after
another, before changing the channel,
resuming play on the trivialities that
we dare not live without. While we live.

read more Thought on another mass shooting

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A thought as I stare down middle age

I.

Jesus Christ is this growing old?
And what if this is it? And
at the end, is there anything
but the end?

The past gets longer every day
and all the while I look
back and
see more and less,

strange paradox
that slowly makes more sense –
overwhelming and immense
– and still nothing.

II.

Death or something gray came
in with a hint of magnolias
as I forgot why I opened the
window in the first place.

III.

My dad likes to say
in that way only he can
that birthdays come quicker
every year.

Descartes said something once
but now I think he’s dead.

And at the funeral they said
he came and died
and in between did some things that
bear mentioning.

Driving from the funeral
visions of life
(the mighty pine,
the almost-
mighty azalea) and death

(the once-raccoon
pushed to the side, territory
marked in red) just mile
markers passing too
quickly, overlapping
in the rearview mirror.

IV.

Oh my. God throws
his arms up and shuts the door
on his way out. In the beginning was the word
and the word was with God.

sometimes
a word is just a word and in the end
it’s just an end

read more A thought as I stare down middle age