Category: Uncategorized


Never mind the night of dancing hip and belly to belt,
before the bitter sip and the slender blade divided
what would have been fire-lighter love, inextinguishable,
if the message hadn’t got lost like youth or a bad bet,
if the messenger hadn’t smelled of grapes,
(if his wife hadn’t had expectations)
(oh, what were the words, your tongue feels for the shape
like an old man fumbles for his zipper, with a kind of sorrow and dread.)

The first babe erupts, hairless and red,
louder than the bang that birthed the universe,
then the inaugural of nights in a bed of arrow-headed words
and soft as a spider, knowledge creeps along your spine
but you lie to yourself if you think at all, and life moves in glacial time,

life rains dainty, even tender in the hours before the river gallops away.
Days skitter and bounce, pebbles at the foreguard of the slide.

Fly fishing finds your heart, hooks it like a trout (the joke tucked in its jaw.)
New Zealand isn’t far enough away -there’s always a return ticket home.

And the light step drags in sensible shoes with a side of bunions;
there’s never enough heat in the shower to purge the stink.
When asked, you curl your lip to an arsenic smile, “An asshole, is what.”
Never mind the burning hip that wants a kiss from the surgeon’s knife,
or the belly over the belt, and when you finally thud into a kitchen chair
you open the obits first, looking for a familiar name.

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A Poem That Doesn’t Hurt

He wanted something bright to settle in his hand,
to brush its sunset-colored wings across his cheek.
She gave him white-faced dogs and apples in the fall.
She took him to the winter woods and kissed him there,
making him forget his lust for spring
though he recognized her when she came,
cloaked in speckled furs, a flock of
bubble-throated blackbirds by her side.
Then the solstice with its heavy air
left pollen on his lips and clothes;
he might have seen a new-born butterfly,
if he had turned a milkweed leaf aside.

The scent of milkweed bloom is fairy breath
laced through a summer breeze;
you see them when the sun has burnt away the dew-
the magic things at play. They taste and tease
and drift and rise among the pollen-heavy flowers,
orange and black against the lavender and green;
you gaze across the broad-leafed sea and breathless,
watch your wishes fly, your heart take wing.