naiku (20171029)

a gentle breeze
sucker punches the sycamore
not enough to bend it double
but enough to knock loose
a few leaves like teeth
spiralling and spinning
on their way down

a squirrel eyes me
suspiciously
like i’m the one
who egged the wind on
so i give him the finger
since my dog is too old
to give a shit
about a squirrel
halfway up a sycamore

how calming the wind is
how beautiful this fall dance
of leaves/teeth
how angry the squirrel
clinging like spiderman
to the bark

it’s a good
autumn day

the skin you’re in (20171028)

stop picking at it
is good advice

the nail slips under
the edge of the brown, cracked scab
lifting
lifting slowly
watch the old coagulation
crease and sweat serum
as it rolls up

you’ll leave a mark
you’ll make a scar
why do that to your skin
once so soft so

[the insides of eggs are soft
but so are omelettes]

dig
dig
into flesh
not frantically
you’re not a beast
this is science
after all
a white coat
a bunsen burner
a double-blind

how many times
can you heal
over in the same spot
before the blood gives up
before the skin gives up
before the heart gives up

the inevitable weight of words (20171026)

all i want out of this life
the only thing i want
the only thing i ever asked for
was to relax next you in bed
clothes off under the covers
curling toward you like a seahorse
without either one of us
being a slave to the clock or the cat
and just laying there feeling the heat rise
off your skin
and if things get spicy
then we can’t scratch those itches
with long, sharp nails
and why shouldn’t i bury my face
in your hair why shouldn’t i want
apotheosis now instead of later
why do i have to say why not
why are those even words

breezes (20171024)

not so much voice
as brute force
this dry santa ana
sandblasting smooth edges
off a dead man’s curves
pitting and chipping away
at softness
whatever softness we have left

dust scratches the throat
under the lids when the eyes shut
the eyes of the dead will itch forever
with copper keeping them blind

don’t forget to tip
the ferryman so
when it’s my time to cross
if i have to hang out in hell
at least i won’t be stacking stones
to build a stairway
out of my own prayers

i’ll teach him
to build a sail
and he can lay down his oar
put his hand to his ear
and prognosticate
the direction of the wind

no warning (20171023)

a bone will creak
before it breaks
much like a dried branch
stepped on in summer
that makes the birds
go silent

but muscle

say
–a heart, for example–

will make no sound before
shattering like glass

or perhaps it is beyond
human hearing

——

for
dVerse ~ Poets Pub
Quadrille #43: creak

tattle (20171022)

layer by layer
i will open the old man up
and we’ll see
if he keeps that smile
plastered on his face
we’ll see
if the light finally goes out
in that ruined eye
we’ll see
if he kept his heart in his body
like a good boy
or
if he stashed it away
in the walls
or
under the floorboards

to a rat (20171021)

dead rat
already stiff
by my car tire

i never hit you
nor bore you malice

intact
it seems you
were prey
of neither cat nor hawk

your black
eyes shine
reflecting a late
afternoon sun

you were never
my friend
but i wonder
if you were poisoned
or just looking for shade
and if you knew today’s dawn
was your last

in medias res (20171019)

close your eyes
and grit your teeth

this is going to hurt
this is going to feel good
this is going to make you forget but
this is going to be memory

let the feeling separate you
from your skin like a sunday chicken
on a weight watcher’s plate

let yourself be blind
feel the ten thousand needles
each and every single one of them
necessary
delivering

deliverance

firmly in hand
eyes closed
eyes closing
because when they open
and your breath is your own again

the moment is over
is past
is memory