Musings and Mirth
Bourbon Street clanged
like a Christmas tree on a train
He never blinked.
I’m going to build you an A-Frame, he said
I built an instant dream on
a stranger’s tweaker stare
wider than the sky
He’d taken enough of something
to wish away convention
I swam in it too.
Marry me tonight, he said.
I’m going to build you an A-Frame
We’ll have lots of babies
Be my wife.
His wife, for a few hours
In a cloud of meth, rum and coke, insomnia
Did he mean it?
Let’s get drunk on promises
As I laid him down on sweat-soaked asphalt
hundreds of years of delirium
A city that slouches with lust and magic
Widened eyes that didn’t close
Don’t ever leave me
Somewhere the smell of sweet fried dough
called the morning
Drink me. Cover me.
I can build you an A-Frame Be my wife?
A cowboy’s girl
Never let me go, he said
Sparkling beads floating
on the Mississippi
until consumed by its timeless churn
and the beauty
comes all at once
Hot gusts of air smother the Pacific.
an historical shrug.
You are silent infinity.
With nothing to say back.
You don’t lift your hands even
to catch my words
They fly over and through
then fall where they dry up
exposed seeds wait for the next season
They will grow again
Flowers will spring forth, opening
Sprayed with sunshine, they reach.
I say them anyway,
remembering the quiet of that morning last,
What could have been more splendid
than your hips buckled to mine
your sweet breath tickling my ear.
How could I not use my words
Even if they are my own echo I hear
And not the sound of completeness.
There is one side of this,
Fed by the sweet sugar
Of the man who says nothing.
(A great poem by a great poet)
This was a day when nothing happened,
the children went off to school
without a murmur, remembering
their books, lunches, gloves.
All morning, the baby and I built block stacks
in the squares of light on the floor.
And lunch blended into naptime,
I cleaned out kitchen cupboards,
one of those jobs that never gets done,
then sat in a circle of sunlight
and drank ginger tea,
watched the birds at the feeder
jostle over lunch’s little scraps.
A pheasant strutted from the hedgerow,
preened and flashed his jeweled head.
Now a chicken roasts in the pan,
and the children return,
the murmur of their stories dappling the air.
I peel carrots and potatoes without paring my thumb.
We listen together for your wheels on the drive.
Grace before bread.
And at the table, actual conversation,
no bickering or pokes.
And then, the drift into homework.
The baby goes to his cars, drives them
along the sofa’s ridges and hills.
Leaning by the counter, we steal a long slow kiss,
tasting of coffee and cream.
The chicken’s diminished to skin & skeleton,
the moon to a comma, a sliver of white,
but this has been a day of grace
in the dead of winter,
the hard knuckle of the year,
a day that unwrapped itself
like an unexpected gift,
and the stars turn on,
into the winter night.
Trying not to worship the Sun
Water eludes capture,
leaks and drains where it can
before drying up
and giving itself over to air
Underneath it, the earth’s crust bakes
October and it’s still too hot.
Here comes you
A perfect storm,
swollen earth soaked with
and swallowed up
Leaving surfaces wet and slippery
Flirting with electricity
only you could put out
Reflecting up what looked into you
a world of undiscovered history
You never leave me dry.
Involuntary juices called forth
like swollen, bursting clouds
not waiting for the right moment
to unleash the deluge.
It’s never wet here in the desert for very long.
Soon the pools of dark water will evaporate,
The dirt surfaces will crack again,
turn to dust again,
What remains is whatever is left
when the storm passes.
Flowers, hundreds of them.
Clean glass windows on cars.
Tiny hidden puddles that remember.
Outside of Playa del Carmen
Wind bends trees to kiss the sand
Thirty, forty, a hundred tiny crabs
Cross the strip of highway
Over half will die
A hurricane stirred in a nearby continent
The sea turned our legs numb
A nightmare of conflicting directions.
drowning in it.
The dampness of the sheets,
In a triangle bed
How the sun sank,
Vodka drenched lips
Palm pushing my chin back.
The crabs flattened like paper dolls
under the heavy wheels of cars
Nothing can stop a hurricane
Nothing can keep you alive
a minute past too late.
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