the third season (20171121)

red autumn eye
looks southward now

through heavy coat
hard to feel its gaze
but the eye lingers over me
like twilight spiderwebs in my hair
counting out my time
dawn by dawn

i set my feet upon the earth
send down roots
among sycamores
among eucalyptus
i can stand a cold morning or two

i haven’t seen a paperboy
in years
/forgive the sexist terminology
i am aware of it and i’m working on it/

i haven’t heard the
satisfying smack
of atrocities landing in my driveway
or my neighbor’s driveway
my neighbors drive away
my neighbors driven away

i do not read the news
still, it reaches inside my chest
night time hands
separating organs from fatty membranes

autumn red eye
roll south
take these shuddering breaths with you
take these neighbors
who drive away
who don’t read the paper

roll south

outside on a workday (20170103)

today there is no smog
no hazy skies
the air bitter and cold
handfuls of clouds
hold up the sky
themselves tiny
thin-stretched hands

the sidewalk belongs
to me and my feet

alone aside from drivers
in their shipping trucks
old cars with windows that
stopped rolling up and down
smashed taillights
what might be bullet holes
smoothed over with bondo

even the guys at the
aerospace building
won’t come out and smoke
at the curb today

i make myself walk
faster to warm up
and get the hell off the street

light on, light off (20161231)

in the dream, we drive
the radio buzzes
we must be in europe
because you are at the wheel
and you are on my right

you laugh
your smile burns
blindness inducing white
an atomic bomb going off
each time you open your mouth

like a fridge
the door opens
the light comes on
the door closes
the light goes off
inside, when it works,
when it does its job,
it is dark
it is cold
all movement ceases
everything is preserved
especially the rot

cold air (201612170)

the air transforms my words
into cold clouds
cold words
fearful ones
laughter as well

i inhale
my teeth complain
–maybe the new crown
but maybe maybe maybe
this winter air
has pack us in ice
a garage freezer
keeping us fresh til spring

if my words turned into snowflakes
i would catch them in my palm
and let them melt
if your words turned into snowflakes
i would catch them on my tongue
and swallow them

Poem 20150216

let that small moment be still
when the coffee is hot and pure
when the bed is warm and the floor is cold
when the bread is warm enough to soften but not melt butter
when the radio plays our favorite song
when your hand seeks out mine
when your breath is in the hollow of my collarbone
when your eyes are half-closed and your mouth half-open
let time stop in his tracks

Poem 20150128

more than halfway to school
the path slick
with a half-hearted
california frost
the front tire turns
just the right way
to stop the bike

i slide
not as graceful as a luge
and turn, tumbling
i feel the knees
of my pants rip
chewed through by the
asphalt that seemed
smooth and icy
but was just a disguised
set of black teeth

when i stand again
my palms and knees bloody
both hot and cold
i wonder if i should turn back
or press on, muddy and damaged

i do not remember now
what i chose

Poem 20150115

among the smooth grass
above the markers
three graces smile
holding hands
each looking in a different

only one has faced death before
and it is her constant companion
a shadow that no amount of light
can banish nor darkness obscure
the other girls will never know
the same way
the touch of his cold still hand
in their own small, warm, ever-moving hands

but the soldiers
who wait beneath their little feet
who wait beneath the warm loam
who wait silently at attention forever
have shared this with her
before their transmutations
and now as she smiles
on this sunny day