rewind

I wish we’d met travelling
snowed in in some airport
on a long train ride
or any other place
confined by space and time

We’d exchange short narratives
of defining moments
tastes, occupations,
demographics, worst jokes
a plan or two

We’d grow tired of talking
check notifications
send some excuses
but mosty just sit together
and pass the time

We’d forget our facades
as fatigue set in
scratch, pick
yawn uncovered
exchange successes
and failures
past or foreseen
expecting nothing
revealing everything
in spite of ourselves

After which we’d never look back

Instead of years
that could fit in a day
of crossing paths
with little to say
time stretching each moment
decidedly prepared
always falling short
of desires curbed and saved
for a day that never came

background noise

I stare at your photo
but cannot discern
its want or intention
So all I trust
is that empty space
at which I stare
beyond disbelieving
at all that’s not there
to make out what is

If you must know
I’m a little bit slow
and reluctant to admit
I purposefully sit
with this view bestowed
to see what it hides
in the glow of the space
you’ll never fill

People pass
places remain
and empty spaces
won’t explain
why it is you went away
they only howl
that you’re not there
and never were

waiting

I want nothing more
than the possible
opportunity
for chance
and coincidence
to converge
into the unexpected
All that
you took
when you went away

stasis

Living is what I do
When I’m not thinking of you
I’m often in stasis these days
The sun warms my shoulders
Into feeling less old than
My bark-like skin declares

I spend my days exposed
Like light can appease thirst
And bring life to dried dirt
But it won’t
And I’m left fiddling
With thoughts too belittling
Crumbling last year’s leaves

Branch bared and limb cracked
Waiting for my spine to snap
I keep twisting
Reaching back
To rake up debris from the past
And find a match to light it
Just to keep warm through the night

that last declaration

You’re a hiccup
a glitch
a prickly itch
I make a last ditch effort
to scratch
But that was the last
phrase, lost in praise of
the last phase
the last breath
held and exhaled
my last affirmation
my last exhaultation
in mock exasperation
A concise expression
of my frustration
at all that could never be
So I’m forced to resort
to self-preservation
and grudgingly decree
Yes, I was only joking

grounded

I’m a cat on a leash
wishing to leap
into the sky
but will dangle
if I dare take flight
So I try with all my might
to set my sights slightly below
revel in the magic
of my steps as they flow
Still the mist rises again
to gather and protest
like a neglected guest
determined to make
the simplest path a sodden mess
to shout magic’s just a trick
And I’m better off sticking
my feet way down
into the blindly trodden ground
until mud gathers round
and my steps grow too heavy
to complain of the tug
of loving chains
and the constant gently
falling rain

denial

She nimbly swerved around each oncoming body, eyes wan, scarf trailing from the worn handbag. Loose boots flopped a half step ahead. Her ribbon body flowed into them. She beat the crowd to the median, pausing to drag on a cigarette stub and turning to blow invisible smoke to one side. The red light was for those constrained by conformity, and her will was her own. Without yielding her earned momentum she lunged into her next stride. Then it hit her.

farm tales

The well’s depth
was a mere twenty rungs
revealed by a drought
that cared little for coins

The rabbit was strung and skinned
its secrets gutted and strewn on the ground
before it could get the chance
to beckon me down the hole
But its tongue
was close enough to candy
Who could believe in the luck

of the foot that didn’t get away

Double yolks,
a pod of perfect peas
a tomato bloodier
than its skin
a slice of melon
without seeds
gave more wonder
than any handful
of shriveled beans

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