A star, collapsing in on itself
May 13, 2012

your skin smells like old sunburns fading
trail dust slept into your hair
dirt walked slowly into the creases of the soles
palms like dandelion sap, pollen on the nose
buttercup dust under the chin and smiles
straight white teeth and freckle clusters
tracing your constellations across a bare back
past rough elbows and quiet hands

no one remembers how to recognize a face
the sound of a warm body turning over
on bright grass blades, flattening
it all out

my hair is growing too fast this year
and you speak too immediately and
not at all

take this flash light
point to the constellations with
the steady beam
there the big dipper and the bear
the throne and ones you have created
lines drawn in light

i’ll wash off the dirt, take your felt-tip
pen, connect your points
hold still

 

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two poems for the price of one
August 8, 2011

Untitled

My heart is too full of clouds for your sunshine-summer soul
and I am afraid I will fall like an overcast day across your irises
I am afraid of the lightning in my bones
I am afraid that I will fall
and they will break open
and my death-marrow will be thunder and monsoons
Storms will spill from the exquisiteness of my breaking
There will be such a sharpness to me
This is perhaps a warning
or an invitation
Choose

I am taking bites out of the sky.
It is juicy and made of flesh.
This is a spicy black-burnt chicken night;
I can palate these constellations:
whole with wings and legs still attached,
the head lost to some factory floor.
I want to be an astronomer and live off stars
and silently spinning galaxies.
I break them for my daily bread.
The crumbs at my mouth-corners are celestial.

free verse
June 10, 2011

when the moon is not enough

The street light sees a lot of late night walkers.
It is the outpost between the college chapel
and the first nice block of houses on the north side of town,
and it likes to imagine as it flickers to life
when the sun sets in the evenings
that its little orange circle of glowing sidewalk
is the entire world
and the lights of the house across the street
serve as stars
and the stained glass of the chapel windows
are so many millions of galaxies
that it likes to contemplate through the darkness
of the rest of all that is.
And once a girl sat down in the center
of the street light’s glowing world,
and she watched the house’s stars –
the flitting of the light as a mother
paced back and forth past the front window –
the sounds of suns laughing too many light years away
as children not going to sleep and playing at growing up
made forts big enough to hold them in
but small enough when all else is too big –
and the girl sitting on the concrete
looked at those stars through the bushes of the garden –
past summer roses in the dark that have lost all color –
and she placed her open palms on the pavement
and pushed herself to standing only to turn
and fill her eyes with the light of the galaxies
of the holy spirit streaming through colored glass
as they were meaning more
than she had faith to accept,
and those galaxies turned before her
to open themselves in the darkness
and show in blues and reds and marvels of the visible
the things no human being can believe in,
and her tears sparkled in so much light
and the street lamp flickered once
and she walked on.

free verse
March 28, 2011

Swell

I dreamt last night of setting sail
into a blue oblivion of clouds and waves
and the sky above me was the same
color as the misty blueness
beneath my boat and the night sky
and all its brilliant glistening dew drop stars
reflected off the water and I didn’t know
which way was up until I remembered
that gravity was telling me how to stand
and I took up the oars and turned the rudder
in some direction that seemed better
than all the others and rowed almost
until the end of time because in dreams
my arms never wear out but I knew
somehow that if I stopped the boat
made of tulip tree leaves and moss
it would fall apart and I let it
and I was floating between the stars
and the jellyfish glowing beneath me
and I reached up and took a star
out of a constellation and ate it
because I was all empty in my fingers
and it filled my lungs and veins and heart
with a billion brightly burning passions and
I exploded and woke up in moonlight