Trying out her wings

Pain killers did not play a part in my death

You

Featured, light fizuring definition, as star

You captured my appetite in a jar

Left it to pickle sour

We dissected my heart and ate slivers

Outside, like a fevered tongue

Merrymakers ran and dragged

Confetti and plastic cups of eels

Young girls with birthing stretch marks, shaking double chins

If they had three lifetimes it would still not be enough

To celebrate their unfolding life of cards

Queen of Hearts, she sat watching oragami crowds

Easier to be cloud cover, sensing rain in the air

The quiet of needing to say nothing, emptied of small talk

She didn’t need to ever attend a party again

That was another version of her out there in time

Straining to be a light bulb

Her long dangling line

Fishing for fragments of who she had been

How did a wizz, bang, bang, pop, crack, fizzle girl

Turn into a wig combing mannequin?

From dancing drizzled with pink champagne, the uppers in her blood churning red

To planting rows of onions and dragonflies, obscured by garden net

Oh she would

Knit herself a ship

Sailing on and on

Paint herself a sea

Rounding over water with butter knife

A transfer from disco ball, to stay and burrow in

Flying overhead, a stray kite, looping the void

Things of nonsense and flight, once she was weightless, then heavy with seed

When it spilt like a tearing river, a part of her she no longer needed

Tore away, a feeble arc of motion, the arrythmia of nameless distress

Catching the air, lifting, cavorting above caucophany

Trying out her wings

No iron

If you said

I am cold

stitch me something to wear

out of moments

choose the pieces with inside pockets

we can lean closest to

before we let go

bidding adieu

those memories

treasured pieces

lain flat and held

by tremulous hand

one swathe for our life

cut down like barley lying golden

he made his absolution

arching windows cast the tiles mirage of eastern colors against stucco

fabric whispers a song

furnishing breath

as two red throttled birds

will roost

their ease

filling silence

with comfort

everyone sees him through your eyes now

astonishing

a kind of mosaic peace

two minutes

stretching like feeble light

can reach further than possibility

they say you marry your father

my father thinks of himself and fits what he can next to him

in a boat for one purpose

alone

and I see

how many times that was echoed

where I wondered at the empty feeling in my hands

after you made no effect

and expectation became a sore word

lost in tumble-dryer

set to spin on

no iron

Ash

I have always been ash

ash was in my mouth when I first cleared my lungs

coming from the inside out

unwrinkling doubt

I have always been ash

ash was in my hair tinging it with streaks of despair

shouting from roof tops

some of us are better off unborn

I have always been ash

ash was my bed fellow when light was dimmed

we lay side by side, reluctant sardines

licking the brine from our dessication

I have always been ash

ash was my first lover who turned the oiled key 

a world of hurt in carnival ride

the painted horses, so noble, so fine

I have always been ash

ash is my name, fingerprint, DNA

ash is my best friend, last sex, the one who will

nail Beachwood coffin shut, throw the earth

on top, along with ash it mixes and turns

white like skeletons

dance

between

the

plots

Social

I do not have one photograph of me in a crowd

since I was 15

dispersal it seems

happens when clams

decide they do not want to be eaten

lying upside down in shell

rocking slightly to the swell

of another’s hunger

nor does the sour effervessence of champagne

dull the gritty pearl’s fate

when she is presented raw and quivering

longing for the sea and the weight of water

upon her shell

perhaps that is why shell fish was outlawed

in the Tulmud

we sit in our red tents

beyond the barnacled city walls

wondering at such things

and though we stand alone in photographs

it feels much like we are in a crowd

for the boyance of honesty is best of all

perhaps like pearls comprised of rubbed elements

swirling into circles

the truth has a way of

brining us back to shore

 

Forlorn

Are you sorry now?

Cowlicked

Sallow youth

Fingering the dried sheets

Of childhood

Painted manouschka 

Could you know

The first hallilullah?

Fused life

As you sat with well worn magazine 

Mopping up what’s left

Wheeling out of butcher’s theatre

Give the cigarette girl

A penny….. so she

Doesn’t bend in two for the muscled drummer

Who plays the same record throughout a long night

Testing her tightly strung strings

With bitten thumbs 

Let her know

The birth of understanding 

Comes not in filling empty bottles

With crawling dark

But something of the learned

Depth of solitude

Dying out imprints 

Like stretched skins behind glass

Look forlorn

Except smell

I did not speak your language

until I learned in the dust of play

communicating with shapes and funny faces

then I understood more until

giving away who I was 

I embraced your world

step by step accents relent

we pawn our histories

to fit in better like the crayon

is never quite the right hue

coughing scarlet consumptive 

we want to be unseen unnoticed

to fly at night when all are sleeping

do not point us out in a crowd

or remind us of who we once were

the immigration of battleworn hearts

denies who we were before we marooned ourselves

in other tongues, other culture

they say you never forget your childhood

what do they know? sitting in the same

room as when they were knee high

the truth is you forget almost anything

except smell

and when you come to hold me close

you ask me why do you cry?

and the cumin of your hair is

something I can never explain

except with hands making

feelings out of air

Starlight

stardust_texture__by_galaxiesanddust-d5xtvebWipe the blade

lest it glimmer

send a signal

you from me

o-er white lighthouse

amassing rock devils

surging their molten tongues

slaking fury against granite

when I am without illumination

you come with your lantern

reflecting in glow the candor of your heart

it stirs within my distrust a place of calmness

and fear

for to trust is to release, to let go, to stand

naked before the soul

take the first step

don’t let me go

I want to believe, to lay down my arms

climb inside your entreaty

become one

first steps always with tremor

here is the way

why do we want to escape?

and so you fold me like a ship

set me on the calm waters of your faith in me

I do not know how to bask beneath unconditional things

nor what of myself to reveal

when we play marbles outside in the garden

the fine colors they hold, like glassy marvels

worlds we could visit

places far off in imaginations realm

you make me believe again

holding my hand, asking me to jump

take a step let go

falling through air

rapid and chill

we have no need of permanence

hear the sound of sea birds

lost in rushing mists

hear the letting go of pain

piece by piece by piece

you are the golden within my soul

lighting the way, showing me where to go

let me not lose the feel of your small hand

within my own calloused from fear

now we abandon who we were

rising with warm air

see the waves consume the old

see the release of joy breaking over shore

here you are my darling

your colors of mauve and honey

blinking wide-eyed anew

you gave me solace

you lent me hope

you are the brightest star

we devour, we consume

for stardust is where we began

starlight we become

watch at night my love

see me wink and soar

free, free, free

as day shall obscure

and night reveal

our wonderment

Mile High

solar-impulse-plane-circumnavigates-globe-without-single-drop-of-fuel-21The ex footballer tried

to fit his huge frame into the tiny chair

in the cramped plane made for small people

of which he was not one

with his sagging musculature of college sport

he dreamed of when he sprinted hot faced

and glorious on football field with the roar of

the crowd warming his back like midday sun

how far we come, how fast we lose

that energy of youth

the ex footballer mused

pinch of metal seat digging into

his oft knocked, sore knees

when she

much older behind her fragile

wrists, perhaps enough to be

his reluctant mother

if her breasts were full of milk

and her loins birthed him still

as big as he was

as small as she is

sat next to him and folded up her skinny legs

like the free pretzels given by bossomy air

waitress

though I think they go by another name

everything so politically correct these days

he told her he worked for a New England company

checking roads and longed one day to

escape the cubicle and regain his former glory days

to run until his breath labored and chest burned

with the fervor of a free man

why he was so candid surprised them both

her eyes full and dark locked on his words

and he could see how fine her cheekbones looked

with the flash flash of the de-icer cutting across wing

little windows facing out into cold skies

how long do you think it will be? he asked

meaning many more things than plane schedules

do you have a destination?

neither could answer with any sense of certainty

she pushed her shoulders into his and he

devoured her smallness with his bulk

underneath the blankets when overhead lights dimmed

people turned, sighed and fidgeted in darkness

he found her passage and she his sorrow

they moved together like dark wind pushed the plane

ever forward into the future

drowned out by constant surge of motor

his climax covered by engine cry

when you do not see each other, is it real?

or dream fitful against rushing skies

neon lights clicked on and wrinkles were

ironed hastily out of slouched dreamers

she left without hand luggage

an old lady of eighty asked him to carry hers

he lost the color of her hair in disembarking crowd

blurring with sleeplessness

swallowed her whole

her smell on his fingers and rumpled clothes

his hotel room cold and empty with styrofoam cups

empty of warmth

holding her movement behind his eyes

finally sleep took him down

loose limbed and missing

something of the dance they created

lost in time and space

sailing above the clouds

Shortest day

the-winter-solstice-marks-the-shortest-day-of-the-yearShortest day

swallows brightness

in diminishment

crouching against

empty branches

silhouettes of

previous solstice turned

deft on tip-toe, sore and wild

when the world was not

sleeping beneath

first frost

waiting in steamy breath

for chasing night

to subdue her urge

there’s more dark

than day in this

glassy moment they realize

taking longer steps

against setting shadows

creating winking specters

in faded swallow of

last light

We survive the worst

The devils darning needle

makes cranes of thought

slipping embers burning retorts

gathered like horny kindling

against regrets better half

oh how we smart

knowing twenty paces too late

our writhing gut did not mis-speak

she was the last woman of the lake

her chalked arms pulling our desist

down with the wormy witch into the abyss

there …

among weeds and lost gloves

find yourself trussed

you are the one supping on river mud

drawing the short straw with wings of flour

long is the pain

longer than searching in blind water

for rusted keys

open up

my sodden daughter

pull me out

we dry together over story time

yours has a twist

mine retains humor

laughing at the end of the world

orange the color of final plumage

somehow resurrection feels painless

scissors without the slice

lay out the fabric of your design

I’ll cut you a shape befitting our vintage

mine is copper without reflection

drink it down in one lament

through it all I never lost

the feeling of your iris fingers in my hand

now we are recasting our nets

the water is known, no depth can drown

pain shows us we survive the worst

stronger for our watery crown

what of the marked woman who lives beneath scorn?

she is with child

she is your wife

she lays the table

you pick up your knife

two from one

divides and multiplies

once she was running scared

now she flies

through needles fine blue eye

threading the world