silhouettes of children running in pastures

the reflection of their magic in the stars

broad, flat-orange colored buildings

against a violet night sky

stacks of aged books toppling over

heat glow of a hearth,

the heart of a home

a chair made by eager hands instead of machines

those hands seek foothills and mountains

the maker pounds his drum a preset number of beats

until his furry and fleshy body is covered in the tiny crawling things of the Earth

kindred will say prayers

and they will toss salt:

"he did not catch the biggest fish,

but he greeted the water every day"

his tinkerings are burnt as an offering

boys mount bicycles and disturb fresh topsoil where he rests

their sigil a circle by cigarette lighters from the cabs of old cars

burned into the creases of their arms

and they ride through pastures,

their magic reflected in the stars

lovely one

when you hold close your lovely one

and meet him cheek-to-cheek

you'll feel both the stillness and movement

of the Earth beneath

when you phone your lovely one

and his laughter peppers the air

your children squabbling in the backseat

your fruits never compared

when you write to your lovely one

be concise and be sweet

let him know that if it's not him, it's no one

who sweeps and keeps you off and on your dirty feet

a hint of autumn in the morning

before anything stirs

in the stillness you can hear your heartbeat

and the wisdom that it spurs

when you die with your lovely one

he'll have cradled your bones when you broke

you will have held his hand through his fear

you will live on in your yolk

when you hold close your lovely one

and meet him cheek-to-cheek

just like the old movies that you love

it's always the eyes that speak

you posed like a toothless grizzly

in the presence of your adversary

your lover turned enemy

pawing and clamoring at you

chaining and taming you

making you a pet

and grateful for your encagement

to bare another cub

to cast another line

to be known

to redefine

the scale is obstinate and mulish

keep dreaming, Momma Bear

frame your snapshots with cursive love

may your choice be truly yours

as i yearn to err in my whereof

(your flame knows, your flame knows)

Elegy

one day this apparatus will feel no pain

heavyweight macrame on disquieted shoulders

gathering pebbles, creating boulders

this is life in a flash:

the birth of the universe

before the preferred measurement of time became age

we began to wonder,

and the Angels sang a funeral dirge:

“pain on pain on pain”

tell me all about your Octobers

and my body will be there

the chill of Mother’s breath

straightening my spine

raised flesh reminding me that i am not yet dead

only turning brown, orange, and red

you held my hand that day

i told you i loved you

and your weeping sogged my shirt

for you then had something new to lose

the machine ticks along

spirit wattage flickering and fading.

anima and animus, combined,

the same

one day this rusted apparatus will feel no pain 

who am i to want in vain?

any obsolete mecha,

a pile of rubbish and shame.

one day this soft apparatus will feel no pain

Laundry Day

we fatten our hearts on milk that never ceases

and play hopscotch on faultline creases

there are lungs enough for the both of us

and a heart that beats forever

there are hands and thread to stitch all wounds

and keep the patchwork together

beloved, beloved,

twirl like a child in summer sun

beloved,

today is laundry day

i’ve always been this way

cleaning up for company i don’t want to keep

i hope you smile for the rest of your life

i saw the moon's gleam on the bay in the mirth of the night

where ghosts no longer haunt, but live

where people no longer take, but give

I Know You. You Are Food, and I Am You.

synthetic sleep

manufactured weep

a layperson’s tooth and nail

 

a drive to strive

to truth non-contrive

and to be the onward sail

 

a man brings a snoring, satiated animal to fits of delirium tremens

and tells it with potency that he wants to be salient

the animal pads its pointy ears with giant, clawed paws,

shows the man his gnarly back,

and while turning away like a slowly moving armored tank

it grunts, “I know you. You are food, and I am you.”

 

a man now casts a line

the tide comes and his thighs are chilled

a bite does tug at the rod in his hands

after a nothing-struggle, he answers a wide eyed, gasping, and slippery thing,

“I know you…”

The Specter

no creature

neither corporeal nor ethereal

is quite like this one

both tiger and saint,

she quickens the faint

the mistress of cut and run

 

nothing is significant until it is shared

a dissolving dream, morning manger bed hair

a wispy frame, tender loving care

 

she is now a specter in a suit of armor

timeless and impenetrable, feet shuffling and clanking somewhere far away

conjuring thunderstorms

and a muted earthquake caution:

beware the creature who homes a second world

there’s rapture in your being devoured,

she becomes the wind as your toes curl