The makeshift ashtray

A better word for purgatory

finding rhythm

It rained the first day I met you
under green canvas,
your hands golden
from the cold,
felted wool a sometime lover
draped along your jaw,

when I awoke
on my hands and knees
covered in summer sweat
and saw the fall,

until the turning pinks and reds
break into day,

like a river’s reprieve, endless.

for T

When I thought of how we became
friends,
my hair heavy
with southern winds a welcome
pleasure,

loose strands of falling pearls
slick as an icy windshield
without gloves,
a heart begins,
remembers

the angle of sunlight
best for young trees and new love;
a requiem composed

around the bend of an arm,
and believed

tomorrow we
sleep in the sun.

a fisherman’s tale

In our solitude

staring at a solo memory
of happiness
in black and white

of a long summer
and foggy mornings,
nights marked by the call

of birds flying home,
I admire your hands still

beyond dimensions of
passion sliding down
my many faces,

a trail
of volcanic ash
on midnight canvas,
you remain.

something to know

Like landing safely on the ground
from a fall,
surrounded
by easy laughter,

the drawl of a return,
known and gone
if for the loss
of random intimacy
that wakens us,

true like the rail
of steel at our stop
at its end
the surprise of life,

as shy rain would fall
upon eager shoulders.

the birch tree

I set us free
from within
a box of worn paper,
last season’s festive crown,
I remembered seeing
you

through revolutions of
Christmas lights falling
from each eye,
images appearing big
and small at once,
a kaleidoscope

of our time
together, we grasped
the last branches
of the tree, falling
on surrendering snow,
you brushed my cheeks dry
when you showed me
in a field of harvested corn
the rhythm of goodbye

a familiar pattern above,
our laughter a fresco
my victories over last night’s game
our final embrace before sleep,
in the crescendo of a rainy night

I push crumbling earth, eager
for conclusion,
the familiar a stranger
whose departure defies
instruments of light

there you stood,
a requited return.

making the road

I thought of you
in a cab home,
it is the small luxuries,
like leaves that turn
from red to purple

in an instant
I thought of you
at the bottom of a hill,
arrested breath,
only in your smile

part heart, part soul,
to say the weight

of forgotten truths
I thought of you

in a world away
and in a bed of fallen leaves,
lines are drawn, with light
in relief,

I thought of you,
on drives through canopies of trees
slippery rocks
and moss grown stone
our smiles aligned, I
understood

the many colors I saw
on my afternoon walk,
with clouds in our hands,
I thought of you,

where the gods live.

reading by laughter

I clenched the edge
the weight of the moon
a ring around my finger
beneath an hourglass

made for the ocean,
a tear
glanced around beveled edges
knowing its exit,
down a tunnel of light it went.
True, like an arrow’s scar

I saw the blue in her profile
and wading through discarded
keepsakes of the heart,
the decay was both green
and past,
the elation of descent

with consent.
laying in our private field,
I touch.

for the nervous

This is my lie:

slippery light passed on a steel reflection
guilty,
smiles like sheep
on the wolf’s retreat,
today, I spoke

of grand mountains turning
from blue to white, to grey
in a finger’s moment
I said,
just as you see the rain
through the window,

I told her I liked her
red
hair
against a schoolyard wall
her fists knitting a reprieve,
I

cried
at the opening of a door

for shadows too big for
under covers
by floating feet,

the fire does not burn.

 

butterflies

We played catch
with afternoon rays
turning our eyes
into candles,

first to rise
beneath canopies of gold
and sandwiches with crisped corners,
a soul consents

a breath away
from heaven’s door,
feet wet from its cloudy waves
I pulled
a jacket tight,
against your salted cheek
and caught each mountain,

from some worlds
the letters rest,
as their hearts grow warm,
diamonds of ash
create an inheritance,

driftwood black
on a cold forest floor.

 

my first birthday

I held
my hand out

along a just
damp railing
I

lost myself
in tonight’s sunset
caught between

pink lights
in a hurry

and an ocean’s purple
against your soft brow,

I grew
until life was green, long
trails of a pupil’s map
of an early bird
after first blue

under a halo of black pearls
the rain sings.

 

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