Like the Sun rising up over the mountain line
I’m telling you to not be afraid
Of the footsteps growing nearer and
The rumbles rolling louder
Because I am not foreboding
I’m moving the earth.
Everything about her was
Her face was slender
From narrow nose chiseled in icy marble
To sapphire eyes that never looked ahead
But s h i f t e d
A pair of glass pendulums.
Thin, crystallized hair
A veil with a sunned shadow
Nearly as clear as fingernails dancing
On salty winds and final breaths.
She walked on the tops of her toes
She was slight- mysterious
A magic trick.
She watched, with loose gravel from the cement pool deck holding themselves against the naked souls of her two left feet, as the helpless wasp kicked its feeler legs against the surface of the water. It fought with all its might, yet could even make so much as a single drop of a splash.
She expected to stand there and watch it until it stopped making its own movements. The legs would stop kicking and the body would stop writhing and the wings would stop beating little ringlets on the clear blue, like heavy footsteps make in a glass half empty. She waited to watch it die.
And then it did an unexpected thing. The wasp forced enough of its filmy wings free to lift itself from its stormy ocean, and flew away.
I live for the time of year that
The trees are so full
It looks as if you could step on their leafy terrace
And walk among the stars.
I want to wade into the blackest night.
The cool distance breaking against me like
The slow-rolling tide of the Lake.
Stars surf- waterbugs flickering on the meniscus.
I want to swim in the midnight
Blues of depths met by my treading toes
New moon’s sky and the river road
Blending into the same hue
Until I lose touch with which way is up.
I want to catch pneumonia from the hooting of the owls
And drown in coyote howls.
I want to float
And absorb the darkness.
Or maybe I want to it
To absorb me.
There are the ambiguous first strokes of a tattoo
Peeking out from under the edge of your short-sleeve.
I think about what might be important enough to you
To etch forever in the inches of your skin.
Like dripping, black music notes or pocketed stars or screeching eagles
A name or a face or a pair of surgically separated wings
Something without, signifying something within
A shallow image
Found in unmoving color on the skin,
To reveal what’s breathing in your blood.
Like once-wounds, healed over
Before I have the chance
What it is.
We are adversaries at best
Kicking around old arguments like they will somehow ever end.
We are tired travelers pacing in front of the kitsch motel
Flashing “no vacancy.”
We never check in anywhere else.
There is something comfortable, predictable
About running ourselves in circles.
No matter how dizzy I am
I always know where my next step will fall.
Now I can’t stand the stillness.
When I can’t see the vibrating rings in the water
And ahead appears much too static
At my coiling skin
At my manish nails
At my peeling, freckling neck
Until the horizon rumbles and tumbles again
And I can get lost in it.
Eyes watering from the blinding signs.
I forgot to tell you that I live in a jungle
Where the writhing roots hold the earth under our feet
And branches grow together like the eyelashes of frightened men
Shielding themselves in deistic darkness.
Howling hawks and blistering beetles debate over the calls of corroded cardinals
Contrasting the trees’ greens.
And just beyond the wilds
You can hear the roving cars
Angry in the summer heat.
It’s nearly the lazy morning
And I find a new way home
Against the mountain wind.
My skin begs for better cover.
The lock welcomes the key
And whispers “when did you
Become such a night owl?”
The oak bedroom furniture
Feels awkward and alone.
(The dresser gets worried
When the bed is left empty.)
My dress falls to the floor
And finally breathes again.
I slide into dawn in cotton
My arms are climbing roots
Tunneling till my hands bloom.
I welcome the sight of stitches
Instead of arms of porcelain bones.
Northeast, the window meets
The shy profile of daylight’s smile
Coy. Like the day I met you.
I have something you haven’t seen
Hidden. Tucked up my sleeve.
Three friends are standing in a room with no windows.
They would sit, but there are no chairs.
“We need a plan of action,” Reason (the tallest of the three) suggests.
“Or else we waste emotion on just feeling,” Adventure (with a wild grass voice) concurs.
“We do our best work with a broken heart,” Memory (unforgettable and meticulous) remembers.
Adventure pounds the wrinkled wall. “We have to get back on the bike.”
Memory reminds, “we never learned to ride a bike.”
“Because they’re terrifying!” Reason reasons, “physicists can’t figure out why people can ride them, you know.”
Adventure sighs “I wanna know what it feels like.”
There’s no clock to tick, but every second or so
There’s an echoey thump sounding
From somewhere floors below.
“Maybe it’s best we don’t do anything,” Reason reconsiders. “No decision
Prevents bad decisions.”
“Bad decisions, bad decisions,” Memory repeats itself, “like the rebound moment with the postcore drummer who cared about postcore?”
“-or the statistician stuffed in the sweater vest-”
“-or the lip ringed barista at the Starbucks on Lattimore,” Adventure smirks like a warm inhale. “Whatever happened to him?”
“He took a backseat to the Daniel Radcliffe lookalike from American Politics. Understandably,” states Reason.
“There’s a Rupert Grint doppelganger at work,” Memory muses, “only less ginger-like.”
“Less ginger-like?” Adventure poses.
“His hair is more an auburn or mahogany than a REAL red.”
“What do we think?” Reason asks. “Knock out two-thirds of the Golden Trio?”
“And end up here again?”
They all squirm. Mahogany-haired Rupert Grint feels like a ghost floating in the round ceiling.
They all question.
“Maybe we should stop living in the past,” says Memory.
“Maybe we should act on impulse,” says Reason.
“Maybe we should stand still,” says Adventure.
“Shut up and go to sleep,” says the room.