Monday, February 28, 2011

you welcome her

you have no enemies.
your heart is open.
and she sits. she smiles.
there are no tears.
the wind is calm.
there is nothing to say.
there is everything
to say. but not now.
it's fine, it's spring.
it's nice to be at
peace. easy to be kind.
she lets you take her
hand. you want to kiss
her. but don't. that's
not the way this story
can end. you feel
the sun on your face.
you are young, you are
alone, her memory, will
come again. this you
know and it's fine.
and then she's gone.

highrise

she lives in
a highrise,
with garage parking,
six levels of it,
next to the other
highrise,
the cement smells
musty and new
as does the paint,
a calming shade
of robin's egg
blue. they are all
adjacent
to a mud caked
park, with three
green benches
and seven saplings
which will one
day be trees.
and a hole
in the ground
that will one
day be a pond,
with a fountain.
maybe birds, maybe
bees. she has a one
year lease so she
may never get to
enjoy these
inclusive ammenties,
but the seven eleven
at the bottom
of the building
keeps her in wine
and beer, and donuts
and batteries
for when the lights
flicker and go
out in a storm.

the weak link

as rain
fell for days
and slipped
in through
the attic vent
unsealed, and
gathered onto
the soft wood
floor seeking
and finding
the lowest
point with
which to break
through the plaster
ceiling, causing
it to fall and
when the sink
cracked
and the pipe
broke and
the porcelain
weight
of everything
came crashing
to the tiled
floor, you
could see
the weak link
in everything
and wondered what
was next as you
tiptoed through
the day.

queen for a day

everyone knows
her, and loves
her, and she
wishes she could
return the favor,
but she can't.
she is sly though
with the kiss,
the embrace.
her hand is in your
pocket, and with
each smile
comes a twist
and a cut
to take part
of you away.
and in her own
mind she is queen
for a day in her
slow small town
parade. her crown
tilted, her world
a sad and lonely
masquerade.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

pears

you enjoy
the shape of
a pear, it's
light green
color is pleasing
to the eye,
it's subtle curve,
and the taste
is fine, is fair,
but it's rare
that you buy
this fruit
by the bag, or
even more than
three, one
or two seems
to suffice until
the next year. i
feel that way
about you, too.

peaches

where does this road go,
you ask the woman
on the side of
the road selling
peaches from a wooden
crate, you pull over
almost out of gas,
your car is old,
your maps even
older, and the person
you are with is hungry
and angry with you for
getting lost again,
so she is no help either
as she eats another mint
from a bag she won't
share with you. and the woman
on the side of the road
selling peaches tells you
which way to go. she says,
go straight, then left,
then left then left again.
but i say, then i'll be
right back here to where
i started, and she says yes
you will won't you. peaches?

plums

plum days
will follow.
this is certain.
don't eat
what lies
upon the ground.
wait for
the fruit to
ripen, let it
choose you.
filled with light
and love,
then pluck it
firm and
sound.

keep dancing

it's okay to get
up and dance. you
aren't too old,
not yet. feel
free. there is
nothing here to
stop you. the music
is less within
your ears, and
more of a heartfelt
thing. feel free
to move your feet,
to tap your shoes,
to hum, to sing,
to find the rythmn
once again. that
beat. it's okay
to join in, in
fact, you've never
left the floor.

even the trees

even the trees
have fallen asleep
after last night,
with the wind
and rain of you.
look how they
lean onto one
another, their
arms embracing,
lost in dreams,
of being in spring,
of being young
once more, so
full in bloom.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

snoop dog

she hires
a private eye
to have you followed.
she has your
number, your id
your credit card,
she has attached
a james bond
gizzmo to the bottom
of your car,
she knows exactly
where you are going,
what time and with
whom. she is on
the steps listening
to you on the phone,
she's in the trees
with a pair
of binoculars, she's
into everything,
digging through
the trash, sorting
through the mail,
the bills, the
dishwasher, looking
for lipstick on
a glass. she is
in your bed,
below, into the closet,
she has infected
your dreams, your
coffee has her
finger in it,
stirring, searching
for a clue. and you
wonder how bad
it would be if
she lived closer
and wasn't married
herself.

winter fruit

this winter
fruit stinks.
no sweetness in
it's kiss,
the bright orange
skin is a failure
within. bitter
and harsh to
the tongue. it's
all good
under the lights,
in the store,
with music. but
get it home,
slice it open
and it's tossed
into the bin.

trip to the dentist

i'm making a cake,
she says, triple
chocolate. it's
a chocolate cake.
i hear her crack
an egg on the side
of a bowl, then
another and
begin to beat
the yolks. chocolate
she repeats. a
chocolate cake.
it's clear what
kind of cake it
is now, and if she
hadn't of said
it the fourth
time i wouldn't
have known. but please,
she stresses, i'm
no suzie homemaker.
so don't get the
wrong impression about
me. i haven't heard
that phrase in
awhile and cringe
with a slight heart
break, the kind you
get when there's
no more half and half
in the silver cannister
at the coffee shop
and you have to ask.
plus i don't drive
at night, or go
into town, or
ever stay out after
nine, and on weekends
i like to play with
my cats and knit.
oh, and i don't drink
or like to kiss until
i get to know someone
really well.
but sure, let's meet.
let's have tea some
afternoon. get to know
one another. it will
be fun. i hear her
mixer go on, rattling
metal against
the glass bowl. i
think about a root
canal i once had.
suddenly my battery
dies, strange how
that happens, and
it's time to go.

the lake runner

her feet hardly
touch the ground
when she runs. she
is meringue in
tennis shoes, with
her crimson hair
waving like soft
weeds below
the sea. she is
wound tight in
black, with her
large dog beside
her. and she says,
without a huff,
without missing
a stride or beat,
i can't stop to
talk, i'm sorry.
and i say. i know.
i know. we've been
down this path
before.

pork chop

she tells me
that i can't have
a pork chop
for breakfast.
and why not i
say. why the hell
not? i dice
up some onions
and mushrooms
and throw them
into a black pan
with a puddle of
italian olive oil,
i introduce some
finely minced
hot pepper into
the mix then
lay down a pink
slab of bone in
chop onto the sizzle.
she stands with
her hands on her
hips, it's not
breakfast food
she says. she
lights another
cigarette, taking
a toothpick out
of her mouth
and scratches
the tattoo of God
on her arm.
make us some
eggs, sweetie pie,
she says. bacon
too. hashbrowns?
no. i tell her
waving my silver
spatula in her
direction. we're
having pork chops.
now if you don't
mind, i'm cooking
here. go smoke
that coffin nail
in the other room.

duckpins

she loves to bowl
at the local alley,
duck pins mostly.
she moves like
a cat down the lane
in her tight
jeans and buttoned
down blouse, those
black shoes
with stars all
around with
the number 9 on
the back. she likes
the sound of
the small heavy
ball rumbling
down the sheen
of wooden lanes,
between the painted
arrows, and
the smell of beer
and onion rings
hanging in the
air. she loves
her team with
everyone having
a nickname,
one leg charlie
has the highest
average at one
twelve, and sue,
is called big sue,
well, because, she's
a big girl. and
then there's jack
and jill whose
real names are
ernie and maude,
but hey. who cares,
it's emblazoned
on their yellow
team shirts, the
dragons. she loves
to bowl and throw
up her arms in
victory and yell
strike! as all
the stubby
white pins go
tumbling down.

five to ten

you plead
from behind
the steel bars,
let's pretend
that none of this
every happened.
turn the clocks
back, the calendar
pages. put things
back the way
they were before you
robbed the liquor
store, before
the cops came
and handcuffed you
and sent you to
prison. but no,
i can't date
someone in jail.
i can't bake a cake
with a file in
it anymore. i'm
not good with
waiting. five to
ten is just too
long a stay this
time. i have to
move on with
my life. sorry.
have fun in there.

the orange grove

when i told you
that you could borrow
my car, i didn't
mean that you
could drive it to
california with
your new boyfriend
jimmy, and then send
me a postcard from
an orange grove,
with your lipstick
lips kissing
the back of it.
that was mean, but
it's who you are.
i both hate you
and forgive you.
come back soon, i
need to go to work
on monday. bring
back my car. pick me
up some oranges too.
leave the boyfriend
there. he's no
good for you.

wake up

your crack of dawn
is different than
mine. you don't mind
getting up before
the sun rises,
i'd rather wait,
have things warm up,
put some light on
the world, the new
day, before climbing
out of a dream, out
of bed, into clothes
and the harsh cold
light. your diving
into that pool with
such recklessness
amazes me. causes
me dismay.

where'd you go

it's surprising
coming down
the steps
at six a.m.
to make coffee
to see the debris
of last night's
'party' still
there. no.
the maid didn't
show up. she left
everything for
me to clean. why
so many glasses
on every table,
how do i get
teriyaki sauce
out of that white
rug, there's
a whole eclair
on the couch.
a trail of crumbs
and clothes
from here to
there, up the
stairs, everything
is everywhere, one
black stocking
hanging from
the chandelier,
everything but
you, where'd
you go.

Friday, February 25, 2011

life's first essential lessons

comb your
hair, brush
your teeth.
wash behind
those ears.
use soap.
stand
up straight,
spit out
your gum.
eat your
vegetables.
quit teasing
your sister.
button
your shirt,
pull up
your zipper.
go pee
before we
leave. get
your hands
out of your
pockets. turn
the lights
off when you
go. quit
daydreaming.

the second date

sour cream
poured from the
bright yellowed
box, cold
and just bought,
lies unsettled
on the surface.
it won't sink
and mix, or
blend, into
the fresh cup
of coffee.
it's bitter
and strange
to the taste
and surprises
you so much
on the first sip
that you take
another, just to
make sure. there
was such promise
in the packaging,
the way it looked
on the shelf.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

barren fields

you have fallen
in love with
the wrong person,
again, what are
the odds of that,
what moons
and stars
had to align
in order for this
to occur. not once,
not twice, but
every other
year, like planting
seed in a field,
the crop keeps
changing, but
the harvest has
stayed the same.

her one act play

to hear her
voice on the phone
is hard.
she makes tennessee
williams
seem dull and
grey, boring.
she plays all
the parts, both
misery
and company,
taking the stage
with her broken
heart, her seven
cats and silver
pill box. everyone
mistreats her,
takes advantage
of her beauty,
everyone is a liar
with an exclamation
point. it's a
wonderful performance.
but it's the
same play, day
after day,
each night, and
then again tomorrow.
the matinee.
she depends on
the unkindness
of strangers and
friends alike
to keep it going,
to keep the lights
on. the marquee up.
the seats filled.

hot pepper

this green
jalapeno
pepper reminds
me of someone
i used to know
as it burns like
a red light on
the roof of
my mouth
and gives me
indigestion.
it sneaks up
on you, hidden
in the fold
of something
warm and spicy.
it's so good
going down,
but ahhh,
the price you
pay for a little
bit of fun.
it makes me
sweat just
thinking about
her devious
delicious ways.

stepping out

you suspect
that your dog
has been cheating
on you. stepping
out, getting walks
and treats from
strangers. there
is a glow in her
eyes, her nose
is cold, her bark
perky and bold.
who gave her that
bright pink collar
with rhinestones?
even her coat
has a summer
glow about it.
she's lost weight
in the right
places. her step
is quick and fun
when we walk
about the park.
everyone seems
to know her,
she has so many
calls and texts
on her new phone.
i'm worried.

unavailable men

he's unavailable,
she says to me
while sipping coffee
and eating a slice
of cake, her third
piece. emotionally
he's not there, not
capable of loving,
not just me, but
anyone. he's closed
off, shut down, he's
made of ice and
steel and no one can
get in. that heart
is locked tight.
i don't know if it's
his ex wife, his
kids, his job, or
what, but he won't
even kiss me anymore,
or hold my hand,
or get the paper
off the lawn, or open
a door. he's indifferent
to my charms. why,
she asks, am i always
attracted to unavailble
men? i don't know,
i tell her. it's a
mystery to me. are
you going to finish
the rest of that cake
on your plate, if not
can i have it? i'm
available to eat it.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

the plumber

he carries in
his heavy satchel
of tools,
rounded and dark
instruments, well
worn and used,
the long lengths
of pipes and fittings,
on his shoulders,
his clothes stricken
with grease, his
face not unhappy,
or sad, but resigned
to his day, to coffee
and driving, to
finding leaks,
the broken valves
that sing to him
softly with a hiss,
or the coughing
of the stuffed throats
of drains, the slosh
of small waves, too late
to save. and if he's
thinking of his wife,
or lover, or famine
in the world, or how
unkind the world
can be, as his thick
hands curl and twist
with wrenches,
you wouldn't know,
and you wouldn't ask.

the color green

the light from
the slight yellow
sun, so tired,
resting on the hand
of a long almost
blue cloud, lies
down easy this late
in the day on
grass that's never
seemed so green.
before the first
cut. you can't take
your eyes off it.
you know well
this feeling. this
color. it scares
you with hope,
with imagining a
love that's come
out of nowhere,
before, so unseen.

the sigh

her sigh is not
so much one
of exasperation,
as we hold one
another, almost
like lovers,
than it is of
simply letting
air go. no
emotion is
attached to
what you just
heard she says
in a whisper,
in the shadow
of where we stop
while walking home.
i disregard her
words though, and
believe that
the sigh means
something more,
and in fact believe
that it tells me
everything i
need to know.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

beneath the water

you float
as if a flower,
detached,
below,
conscious
of the absence
of air. away
from sunlight,
away from me,
but there is
nothing
you can do
to change that.
you are beneath
the surface. you
are awake, you
are asleep.
you are at
the beginning
of your life,
you are at the
end.

art

you string a line
of rope, taut
and white,
from one end of
the yard to the other,
you wash your clothes
then go out to
hang them in
the stiff wind.
sheets of color,
black socks,
blue shirts like
flags, that dress
you left last summer,
or fall, so hard
to remember.
people come for
miles to see this.
they stand behind
the chain link fence
and smoke cigarettes.
they call it art, you
call it something else.

honeybee

your honey
bee approach
to life has not
been going well,
so you are
pondering other
insects of
the world with
which to imitate.
a black
widow comes to
mind, or
scorpion, or
tarantula, so
furry and black
and scary. just
let me know
before you do
so that i can
get the proper
repellant to
keep your buzz
and sting away.

blind date

after his
first internet
date, being
back on
the market,
his wounds
still fresh
from divorce,
he said about
his date that
she looked
exactly like
her photo
except the
person in
the picture
had a human
head on it.
it didn't go
well, he said
one drink and
out. oh my.

a good fall

your left hand
catches your
weight and
snaps but
doesn't break
in the fall
when your feet
slip out
from under
you on the black
ice that
appeared over
night, with
a light rain
and sleet
and the cold
front that
brought it all
together
neat and nice.
and as you
lie there on
the cold ground
looking up
at stars that
have appeared
as the clouds
moved generously
away you
wish you had
a pillow
and a blanket
and someone to
join you, and
who could help
you up, when
the time came.

Monday, February 21, 2011

stuffed animals

i knew i was
in trouble, in
over my head,
when i saw all
of your stuffed
animals from
childhood and
beyond, lined up
and awaiting you
to return home,
sitting upright
with stitched
smiles, and
buttoned eyes,
upon your bed.
i knew then that
i wasn't fuzzy
and warm enough
for you, and
never would be.

something missing

it's not the way
you dress, or think
or speak, or how
you wear your
hair, or how
you walk slowly
across the street
without looking,
or giving care
to what's coming,
it's not the way
you stare out
the window when
we are together
with your hands
folded, nodding,
as if listening.
it's not the way
you kiss, or don't,
it's none of that.
it's something
more, something
less. it's unclear,
what's missing.

old friends

in the spring,
as the dog
digs out
in the yard
for a bone
he buried
in the fall
before snow,
before wind
and ice
covered it
he does
not think
of the time
elapsed, or
if it's
still there.
he knows
and will
find it again,
as i will
you.

falling apart

you pull open
a drawer for
a spoon,
and the knob
comes off in
your hand.
the hinges
are loose too.
on the cabinets,
the magnet
won't catch,
misaligned.
the doors are
slipping.
there is a lean
to everything,
each shelf
tilted.
the world is
falling gently
apart, not all
at once, but
with a screw
here, a nail,
the softened glue,
a drawer that
won't close.

beneath the bed

on your knees
you look under
the bed for your
lost set of keys,
your phone too.
things are
disappearing.
and you find
the woman you used
to love beneath
there. lying
with stray shoes,
a scale, a sock
or two, she says
it's dusty here.
don't you ever
clean. and you
ask her, have you
seen my keys. she
says no, but
here's your phone,
and i tell her,
i think it's
time for you to
go, it's time,
so please, when i
come home, don't
be here. please
leave. she smiles
and says, but you
still love me,
and says, we'll
see.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

her white watch

she shows me her
badge, i show her
my membership card
to a bulk store
where i can buy tires
and get eye
surgery within
an hour, with little
or no wait. she
shows me a choke
hold, playfully,
putting her
arms around my
neck with her knee
positioned in
the small of my back.
and i show her my
tap dance shuffle
that i learned when
i was sent away
upstate for borrowing
cars without returning
them. we are a
good match i think
as i drive away
her kiss still fresh
upon my lips, her
white watch once
on her wrist now
ticking in my pocket.

brush fire

while the brush
fire rages
in the wind,
carrying flames
in red licks
onto the soft
dry trees pre
spring, i
sit here in
traffic, as it
crawls north to
where it snows,
to where there
is no fire,
but where you
await, hoping
with your own
soft limbs
to cause one.

last word

your books, warm
against the sun
as it aims hard
and hits the night
stand through
the blinds and
parted curtain,
your page,
earmarked,
folded tight at
a corner where
the last word
of that book
left your lips,
and entered your
mind. i've done
the same with you.

the broken latch

as you stand in
the back yard,
after the funeral,
short and unattended
but by a few,
you notice
this broken latch,
the metal smooth
and worn, cold
iron having given
way after so long
in use, unrusted,
but not new. how
many times her
hand must have
pulled it up
and over to keep
a dog in, the geese
from the far blue
pond out when
they wandered up
on black webbed
heels to get into
the garden. what
darkness there
is in that house
now, empty,
waiting to exhale
all that it holds.
letting go, as
the gate has done.
sighing enough,
enough of keeping
things in,
things out.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

raised by wolves

i've often wondered
what it must be like
to have real parents
and not to have been
raised by wolves, to
have been left alone
in a basket on
the edge town,
in the woods. but it
was not so bad. we
had alot of fun.
squirrels don't taste
as funny as they look.
communication was
awkward at times, but
there was a strong
sense of family,
the comfort and warmth
of the den is memorable.
my circling three times
before lying down to
go to sleep and my
occasional howling
at the moon is natural
for me, so don't let it
bother you. i promise
not to bite. i haven't
bitten anyone in years,
at least not too hard.
i'm more of a nibbler now.

lack of ambition

once again,
after reading
your note
when you left
this morning,
i see that you've
underestimated
my virtues, my
strengths, my
power and intellect.
my je ne sais
quois. mon petite
fleur. just because
i've lost my
keys, my car,
burned the toast
and left the oven
on all night, you
take me for a
fool, for just
a common man with
pedestrian values
and insights.
your comment about
my lack of ambition
almost makes me
want to get a job
and to stop drinking.
but no. i must be
doing something
right or why would
we keep having
this date every
single saturday night.

Friday, February 18, 2011

candy in a bowl

you can't
have candy
in a bowl
around here
anymore.
the more
you pour
the bag,
the more you
want. it's
impossible.
it's like
having you
around all
day in heels
and a dress.
one thing
leads
to another.

springhill romance

you left your teeth
on the nightstand
last night, in a glass
tumbler that i use
for scotch and soda,
smudged with your
lipstick and finger
prints. how are you
getting through
the day without them,
those teeth?
breakfast was easy,
with oatmeal and juice,
but we're having corn
on the cob today
in the cafeteria
and burgers on a hard
roll with onion
rings. i must say,
it surprised me when
you took them out.
they looked so real
when you smiled. i
didn't see that coming.
and i apologize for
screaming like i did.
and by the way,
i can't find my hair
piece, my brown
toupee, did you happen
to take it with you?
i won't leave my room
without it.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

the greyhound bus station

on the bathroom
wall, or rather on
the old metal stall
partition at the grey
hound station, where
cleanliness and God
have not been for
some time, you see
a familiar phone number
scrawled in
smudged blue ink. it's
your ex wife's old
number, so you call
and ask her how things
are going with the
new husband, the new
house, the vacation
they took to spain
and morocco. she says
fine. that's her word.
i'm fine, everything
is fine. we are all
just fine. and by
the way, you still owe
me one check. you
don't answer to that
though, you tell her
you have to go, it's
been nice chatting,
and you're very happy
that she's fine, but
you really have to go,
you're late, and you
have a bus to catch.

leg falling asleep

sandbag heavy
and tingling
from knee to hip
with pinpoint
jabs of stars,
twitching with
movement not
of your own,
your leg,
just one not
two, is asleep,
unresponsive,
and can't feel
a thing. it
reminds you
so much of
a girl you
used to date.

work

this ivory billed
woodpecker
at my window,
with a feather
duster head,
a plume of bright
red, bangs fiercely
on a tree. every
now and then
he'll stop to bend
his stiff neck
and take a look
at me sitting
at my desk.
we nod at one
another with
deep understanding,
then get back
to it.

making soup

unstirred at
the bottom,
the heat makes
you hard,
you've lost
flavor, unable
to become who
you really are,
unstirred, you'll
singe and burn,
you won't be fun,
or wanted.
all of it needs
to be mixed.
let the salt
season you, let
this spoon stir
you through
and through. and
even you will
taste better
the day after.

getting unlost

there is no
error, no mis
calculation of
numbers, or
confusion about
where we are. we've
followed all
directions carefully.
that wrinkled map
is reliable, i've
used it many
times before to
get unlost. but as
usual, i like
to wait until i am
in the thick of
trees, or at the
bottom of some
city where you
can't see the sky,
where it's hard
to breathe before
seeking help. but
for now, i think
i can figure this
out, figure you
out and escape
to where i need
to be. and after
this trip, the map
goes out the window,
my travels over.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

the new roads

the new roads,
paved hot and thick
with tar and steel
and jersey walls
will improve
the traffic
flow. i read it
on the news. they will
untie the jams,
gridlock, when rush
hours linger longer
than they should.
snow and rain will
not be a problem
anymore when the
cloverleafs appear,
the double road arises
from the debris,
the triple lanes,
the extra exit.
the wide sweet ramp
to heaven will
save us time, get
us home. we will
be happy then, we
will finally have
arrived.

winter coat

your cold lips
on mine, withdraw
quicker with each
day we are
together. love has
shed it's coat,
and now that winter
is here, we will
freeze, we will
die in the snow
of a loveless
night. it's obvious
that your fire
is found elsewhere,
so don't let
me hold you here.
please go.

knitting away the men

she knits
and knits
and knits,
until the room
is full
of sweaters
and blankets.
she no longer
has any
interest
in men.
give her
a ball of yarn
two needles
and a chair
by the fire,
a glass of wine,
and she'll
forget all
about them.
the only thing
she fears
is running out
of yarn,
for what then.

wash me

i see him
every bright
sunny saturday
washing his
black car
with the sleeves
of his white T
rolled up,
a bucket full
of soap and suds
at his feet.
he moves around
like a cat
with her kitten
getting behind
each ear,
and by the time
he's done
it sparkles in
the sun like
a jewel, even
the tires
shine. you
can smell
the windex from
here. it glistens
as he rides
slowly by with
the windows
down, the music
up, his shades
on. he's clean,
he's smooth,
he's trying
so hard to be
just like me
i tell my girl
friend lucinda.
and she laughs
and laughs
while she takes
her finger
and writes
wash me on
the dented hood
of my ten year
old car.

forever

you read
the cursive
folds
of letters,
graffiti,
initials only,
encased in
an awkward
heart
pledging love
forever, of
course. it
never says
for only now,
or just this
week, or until
it ends. but
this sweet candy
apple red
spray paint
proclaims
forever. as it
should be.

late night movie

and the theater
so late, the last
show, before
it closes,
the popcorn stale,
the drinks
too large,
and the movie
long and long,
without much end,
much middle,
the music louder
than it needs
to be, and none
of it matters,
no plot no story,
all on the screen
pales to what
we bring.

what you leave

you like
to leave
small things
to remind
me that you
were here
and have
left. a ring,
a shoe,
a sock,
perhaps
a dress
tucked neatly
beneath the bed.
a strand
of hair left
to curl
in the sink,
or tub, my
book of
poems,
turned down,
unread.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

the journey

you begin
to collect things.
stamps at first,
then coins,
then postcards
antique and hand
painted
found at flea
markets. but you
have no patience
for this slow
process.
it takes so long
to find that mercury
dime, that one
cent stamp from
the civil war.
a bent and frayed
postcard from
paris or brussels.
you have lost
your mind.
but your therapist
has told you to
get a hobby. to
find something new
to occupy your
long winter days.
you say that you
have one. and
she says that
dating is not
a hobby it's
an obsession bent
on self destruction.
careful you tell
her. i'm paying
for these sessions,
go easy on the truth.
looking for love
is not a hobby
at all. it's a journey.
whatever she says.
a check will be fine.

slow dry

this coat
of paint
still wet
with the shine
of new. this
early in
the morning,
still cold
and winter like
despite
a brief
warm breath
of spring.
things dry
slow this time
of year, but
i can wait.

Monday, February 14, 2011

at the end of the tunnel

my vacation
is stalled.
i can't leave,
can't board
a plane,
i can't depart
on time, or
speed away
to where i'm
meant to be. it's
not a wonderful
life. my
destiny is
here, working,
working to make
ends meet.
to see the boy
through. but
i'm not
complaining, call
it a happy
whine, and i
do see that light.

small bites

you are deliberate
in how you cut
that meat upon
your plate, a
slow slice into
the pink center,
like a surgeon
with a sparkling
knife. and how
you take just
a small safe bite,
into your parted
lips. you are
sublime in
your torture of
me.

small print

i can't read
the small print,
but i don't want
to, not really.
it's never good,
the tiny ant
like words so
tight and framed
in dark black
ink at the bottom
of the contract
page, warnings,
liability,
instructions and
800 numbers to call
when it all goes
awry. we all have
our own small
print somewhere,
but rarely is
it read.

frangelico

the empty
ice box speaks
more of what
was there
than what will
be on the shelves
tomorrow.
so easy to toss
your frangelico,
those jams,
those jars of
spreads
that have never
been opened. all
that was spicy
and sweet
sail with ease
towards the open
can. i don't
want what i
can't have.

arm beneath your arm

you've plugged
everything in,
your phones
your i pads, i
pods your lap
top, your toaster
and your
coffee maker.
electricty
and batteries
are the blood
of your new life.
it used to be
love, not long
ago. when a
simple look
or book, or
arm beneath your
arm would do.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

not quite love

on valentine's day
you see them
in the grocery
stores, picking
up roses bunched
tight in plastic,
a dozen for
a dollar each.
perhaps those
carnations will do.
they're red after all.
but they gather
confused,
crowding the aisle,
thumbing through
the cards that
say just enough,
but not quite
enough to chase
him or her away,
or give the
wrong impression
that love and life
everlasting is
in the near future.
funny feels safe.
the box of chocolates,
heart shaped,
the wine, the dinner
reservation. my
place or yours,
where are the kids
tonight? a necklace,
a ring, a bracelet,
i don't know.
it's a hard
holiday for most,
including me,
hibernation seems
the right way to go.

cold feet

on time
as usual, you
wait. you
are alone.
you pace
the room,
adjust your tie.
you find
a mirror
on the wall
and check your
teeth your
smile,
the collar
of your
pressed shirt.
you want
this job.
you put a
flower in
your lapel,
check the shine
on your new
shoes.
the room smells
like a church.
you've been
here before.
it is a church.
sweat grows
beneath your arms.
the doors swing
open and the music
begins to play,
your feet
are suddenly
cold.

when there was two

she gave me
a list of things
to do on
saturday.
the house was
falling down
around us,
she held
out the paper
with her handwritten
list. she pointed
at the tool
box that she
got from the garage.
the ladder was
there too. fix
everything she
said. i'm going
out for awhile.
love was so much
easier when there
was two.

not dark yet

no slowing this
pace, is there.
no putting on
the brake, or
dragging your
feet, the home
stretch is
ahead of you.
the day you
couldn't wait
for, has come,
and gone. and
the tomorrow
that you fear is
almost here.
sun up, sun
down. no other
way, is there.

your floor

when you were
young, you
reached up
and pushed all
the buttons
on the elevator,
lit them all up,
letting the doors
slide open
to each and every
floor. it made
no difference.
you were in no
hurry to be
anywhere, not
up, not down.
you were careless
and having fun,
but things have
changed and now
you push only
the button of
the floor you
need and want
to be at. i'm
pushing yours.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

oasis

you are an oasis,
a handful of
palm trees
and a cool
pool pond of
blue in the middle
of a scorched
white earth
of sand. let me
rest below
your calm swaying
leaves and
sweet soft breath,
let me linger
in the waters
that are you. put
your lips right
here, and revive me.

she can drive

each field
rushes by with
your arm
out the window
on the sunny
side of the car
as you let
her drive.
the tall grass
and corn bend
in the soft breeze.
her driving scares
you. she likes
to talk with
her hands. she
likes to look
at the horses
in the field,
the soft large
cows, staring
with gentle
brown eyes,
while they
stand immobile
and chew. she
drives fast and
hard, and points
at the clouds,
asking what
i think they
look like. i love
her being this
crazy. this wild.
i could let her
drive the whole
way if she
wanted to.

vines

the vine
surprises
you on the first
day of warm
spring, how
far it's gone
up and over
the fence, onto
the brick
towards the
window, crowding
the downspout,
over the door.
it seems to
want all of
you. as she
does in her
silent way.

the gift

that diamond
on your finger
is bigger than
your brain
and far more
larger than
your heart.
but i hope you
like it just
the same and
let me kiss
you later in
the light, or
in the dark.

Friday, February 11, 2011

seven is fine

your nap
beneath
the shady tree,
in the park
where the benches
green, on iron
feet circle
the square of
grass and elms,
was short.
but your sleep
in a curled white
bed of flowers,
with just
a teasing taste
of dream refreshes
you, makes
you call me
when you get back
to the office. yes.
seven is fine.

beauty

beauty is everything
you believe when
you are young
and unblemished,
as she is.
it is the clean
line, the breath
of clouds and sun
that draw you in.
the eyes have it
the lips do too,
the curve of her
in moonlight.
but things change.
decades of living
erase this thought
and it's no longer
beauty that brings
you home. it's
better, something
far better.

i prefer not to

you have
reached
a point of not
doing things
you don't want
to do. not
attending,
not belonging,
not following
what you don't
believe.
there are few
lines you
want to get into
anymore. fewer
still the
conversations
that stir
your soul.
it took
awhile, but you
are there.
and yet you
are not removed
completely,
not quite free.
that will
come later.

sweet talk

the cop
in her black
leather coat
and fuzzy cap,
with boots
like a soldier
waves me down with
her radar gun
and asks me,
leaning into
my half unrolled
window if i have
any idea how
fast i was going.
and i tell her, no
i don't have
a clue, but i
do tell her
that she is very
attractive
for a policewoman
and that her
skin is radiant
that she should
have been a movie
star if not for
a few twists of
fate that brought
her out here
on this cold
febraury day with
a badge and a gun
some pepper spray
and a billy club
strapped to her
slender waist.
she smiles. her
teeth are as
white as ivory
behind her red
lipsticked lips,
really? she says.
yes. really, i
say. you should
move to the west
coast. not later,
but like right now.
i make a square
with my fingers
and thumbs, putting
her into the frame.
wow. i say. whew.
she folds up her
ticket book, looks
both ways down
the street and
says, no fine
sweetie, here's my
card call me.
let's do lunch.
great, i say. feel
free to bring
those cuffs too,
i tell her, then
hit the gas and go.

how it begins

the sun,
like kindness
comes out
and puts her
hand upon
your shoulders
lightly
touches your
face with
her soft
and warm
fingers, she
kisses
you with
the hope of
a new season.
this is how
love begins
how it all starts.

husband

go lie
down. take
a pill and rest.
i'll check
on you in
a little
while, you work
too hard, you
worry, you
do your best,
but it's
just not good
enough, is it.
we all get
sick. it's no
one's fault.
i can handle
things. keep
this ship afloat.
i'll take things
over from here.
but first,
how do i turn
on the stove.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

mid winter blue

no colors,
no spark or shine
presents itself
as you swim
in noon light.
mid winter blue.
unaware of time.
you set no clock
or watch to go
by. you are in
a different place.
on an uncharted
island. you have
too much of
you to handle.
the earth is
white, the sky
is too. no middle
no end. you are
vanilla, without
claws, or tooth.
the unworked day
is strangely
absent, vague
and bland.

the long bath

you have been
underwater for
so long, that your
skin is dimpled
from head to toe.
it is soft
and rumpled, smooth
like pebbles at
the bottom of
a brook after
the winter snow
has melted and
rushed forward
towards where it
needs to go. and
as you lie here
next to me,
shivering from
the cold, i'll
do my best to
keep you warm,
keep you from
going back under,
from getting dressed
and going home.

the new girl

i woke up
with blood
on my pillow
two puncture
wounds in
my neck
and you beside
me with a smile
on your face,
a few drops of
red dripping
from your
lip. is there
something you
need to tell
me before
the sun comes
up.

the old gate

the gate,
off it's
hinge, swings
and creaks
throughout
the long night.
the wind moves
the old wood
back and forth,
without closing.
tomorrow
you will get
your tools
from the shed
and set it
right. but
not now,
you want to
listen for
awhile. it
reminds you
of someone you
used to love.

chit chat with God

your conversation
with God does not
go well this
morning. your needs
out weigh your
thank you's and you
can hear the audible
sigh from the clouds.
the angels are shaking
their collective
heads like rag dolls.
you haven't had
your first cup of
coffee and the headline
news is as usual
death and destruction.
disease and three inches
of black ice on the road.
you are tired of
the mystery of it all.
love life, etc. etc.
it's so hard talking
to someone that is
virtually silent,
it reminds me of my
ex wife a little,
but without the throwing
of dishes and the
lawyers getting involved.
and yes, i love those
beautiful sunsets,
the masterpieces of
nature and all of that,
but hey, i need the
phone to ring to get
back to work and how
about putting the word
in for me with that
cute little blonde who
lives down the hall.
sorry, i'm cranky, like
i said i haven't had
my first cup of coffee.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

just one bite

you take
one bite
out of each
apple
and leave it
on the table,
the counter,
the step.
you never
finish
anything, and
you have no
regret.
i'm not
amused. i'm not
impressed

postcard

i have
to go
now. my
train
has arrived.
write, won't
you.
drop me
a postcard
from the other
side of
love. a
stamp these
days is
almost
nothing.
here's a
dollar,
write two,
write
small, don't
cry.
ink smudges.

enough green lights

as i wait
for you, as
i have for
others, to
come around,
to give me
that green
light to
allow me to
move on with
what we are
to be, i see
how wrong,
as usual,
my thinking
has become
in letting
you, not me,
decide what
road we are
to take,
and what
we are
to become.

the vase

the unearthed
vase from
the yard split
open by workers
in the spring
sun, standing
back, before
one picks it
up and brings
it in. it's
perfect in shape
and form,
not a chip
or hairline crack
to be found.
the color is white
like new eggs,
flowered in
wedgewood blue,
that becomes clear
as you wipe
it down beneath
warm water
in the sink
and you wonder who
and why this
vase was buried
so deep
within the yard,
so long ago.
such secrets do
we hold.

more light

more light
comes in
through
the window,
now that the trees
have fallen.
the room shows
dust and clutter.
what was hidden
is in plain
view. things
you never knew
about me are
suddenly clear.
i may have
to move.

the hot sign

i see you
trying to lose
weight
again. i know
i know.
it's hard at
this ripe age,
with our
slowed down
metabolisms.
it's tough
to get even an
ounce off of
these sweat pant
clad legs
and waist.
and when you see
the hot sign
flash on
at the krispy
kreme as you
cruise up route
one, it's
so hard to not
stop and get
a half dozen
or so, sticky
and warm in that
green and white
box. okay. let's
both start tomorrow.
pull over. i
could use some
coffee too, but
with sweet and low,
hold the sugar.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

marie B

she doesn't
remember
the last thing
she said
so she says
it again and
her questions
are soft
balls you
can swing at
with your eyes
closed. no
more probing
with a sharp
hot knife
about your
life and those
around you.
the game
is over.
she's slipping
into the ozone,
into orbit.
at eighty-three
she is a
mere shadow
of her dragon
self, coughing
up smoke,
dust, embers
cold, and ashes.
her finger is
still on speed
dial, but she
can't remember why.

the roofer

is the roofer
fearless, or
just a fool
the way he bends
and turns without
paying much mind
to gravity or
height. the wind
blows his shirt
open. and the sun
colors him
deeper with a
hammer in his hand.
how money and work
puts us so close
to death, and
perhaps he has just
chosen a quicker
path, one no
different than
you or i, but
less slow than
sitting at a desk.

burglar in the house

when you
dream that
someone is
in the house
rummaging
through
your life
throwing
valuables
into a bag,
do you get
up and turn
the light on
and go down
to see what
can be done
to stop this,
or let them
go about their
business
knowing that
they can't
take what's
already gone.

doctor patient relationship

the doctor
lies down beside
me on the examining
table. he says move
over. i'm tired.
i'm sick and tired.
and i look at
him, turning my
head and say,
but what about me,
i'm the patient
here. and he sighs.
i don't care about
you anymore. there
is nothing really
wrong with you
anyway. you're wasting
your money and time
by being here. all
tests are negative.
broken hearts are
a dime a dozen. go
find someone new and
stop whining. you'll
live to be a hundred
if you're unlucky. so
i get up and get
dressed and tell
him thank you. and
what's wrong with
you i ask him before
leaving. and he says
none of your business,
now please turn
the light off before
you leave, i want
to lie here in
the darkness
for awhile.

black bird

these bread crumbs
i am tossing
behind me are not
for the birds,
but for you to
find me when you
gather up your
strength and nerve
to come and visit
again. so far
i've laid down
three loaves
of wonder bread
and hope that this
will work, and not
just keep the sparrows,
and starlings,
the cardinals fed.

Monday, February 7, 2011

don't be alarmed

this is just
a test. just a
warning signal,
if you were truly
in danger of dying,
of being vaporized
in a mushroom
cloud of fission
you'd be dead
already. so relax.
you still have
time to get a cup
of coffee and
check your e mails.

undressed

at the bitter
end of marriage,
before the trucks
pulled up
to empty half
the house, my
ex wife would
get undressed
and dressed
in the closet.
suddenly after
fourteen years
of being together
she could no
longer be
naked in front
of me. and i
was strangely
glad that she
was now so shy.

your arm

has fallen asleep
beneath her.
but you don't
move, because
she might awaken
and see
the clock
upon the dresser.
she might see
how late it is
and want to
leave. so you
stay still,
it's better
this way, to
keep her in
the dark,
unknowing
of the time
and many things.
and by being
still and quiet
this way,
she stays.

taps

when
she stops
dancing,
moving her
feet and goes
home to
where it's
raining
all day
all night
all week,
it's then,
in her bare
feet without
her tap
shoes on,
when she
goes blue
and can't
decide
which way
to turn,
or towards
whom.

fitting in

below me
the neighbor
cooks
cabbage and
ham every week,
it fills
the hall,
above me,
a man in his
sixties lifts
weights
and drops
his barbell to
the floor
and grunts.
across the hall
a young
couple
makes love
all weekend
long
and forgets
to close
the door. i
need something
to fit in,
i'm just
not sure what
it is quite
yet.

the fish

it is the shape
of the fish
that keeps
him in water,
his mindset,
where he needs
to be, his form,
his opaque eyes
flat and set
just right to
navigate the depths,
his sleek coat
of bright new foil
like a rainbow
in spilled oil
is slippery in
sunlight, or
in the hand
that wants to
change him.
everything moves
him back towards
the sea, into
the watery air
he breathes, out
of his world,
not unlike us,
he cannot imagine
a different
life to lead.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

the broken lace

your broken
lace, thinned
smooth and brown
by time
and age, dangles
short of
being useful
anymore.
the string
snapped clean,
is not long
enough to be
knotted
to the side
that's free.
no compromise
is left. and
perhaps it says
less about
the shoe, or
the lace and
more about things
that break
with no chance
of mending.

t-rex on route seven

with every
new bone found
beneath the sand,
below the sea,
so much time
and energy
is spent
on wondering
and worrying why
the dinosaurs
are no longer
with us,
was it ice, or
flood, the sun
hidden by
volcanic ash,
who cares.
just be happy
that they are
no longer here
roaming the earth,
imagine
the traffic jam
then, on route
seven.

the pony tail

i've always
had that urge
to pull
the pony tail
on the girl
who sat in
front of me
in class,
and sometimes
did, just a
short tug,
a quick pull
of that long
blonde hair
so neatly
banded and perky
against her
neck and back,
and as i sit
here in the movie
theater putting
on my glasses
to see the screen
i want to pull
again that pony
tail of the girl
who sits
in front of me,
but somehow
resist. there
is just no
going back.

the kitten in her

within this
column of pale
wintered
sunlight
your ancient
cat slips
like a striped
shadow
through
the room, a
slow blur
of life un
winding, still
soft, but eyes
no longer blue,
melting
towards an end.
and with her
goes your memory
of how long
it's been
when the kitten
in her was
also in you.

that well is dry

there is no moon
for her anymore.
no stars, no rising
sun, or blue ocean
kissing my feet.
there are no
flowers in bloom,
no sleeve of stream
ruffled silver
and rising
pushing towards
the sea. i feel
nothing and have
no more ink for her.
that well is dry.

delete button

when i got
the tweet
and the facebook
update
that you were
in the grocery
store and then
how later you
were on
the road going
for coffee
and still later
that same afternoon
you were
stopping at
your friend's
house to drop
off a book
before going
to work out at
the gym, and
then taking
your cat to
the vet, before
picking up
your son at
school, well,
i knew then
exactly what
i had to do.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

a new man

walking hurriedly
down the empty
street, and worried
about my future,
about the past,
i find an
umbrella on
the sidewalk, it's
black with
a tortoise shell
handle. smart.
and beside it
a pair of gloves,
black leather,
and a hat. further
down the block
i see an overcoat,
it's long and dark,
with deep pockets,
and put that
on. then a pair
of shoes that fit
just right. wing
tips shined
and holding the
new day's light.
size ten.
the pants are
snug, as is the
white shirt that
lies beside them,
the bright blue
tie is perfect
though and i
remove the clothes
i'm wearing
and put them on.
by the end
of the corner
i am a new man
without a care
in the world.

nice to see you go

without you
the stars have
come out.
the dreams
have been sweet,
and deep
and long into
the peaceful
sleep of night.
i'm hungry again.
the lines
on my face
have softened.
i have more
bars on
my phone.
it's so nice
to see you go.

sunday dinner

bent over
the red sauce
in the tall
black scorched
pot, as it bubbles
and boils
the light
rain of splatter
on her blouse
and counter
the wood
spoon, long
bleached of
color, stirring
the past,
she waits
for her children
to arrive
with their
children.

pet smart

you still love
and miss your
old dog, moe,
so you go out
and get another
dog. it's time.
you are way overdue
in the i need
to care and think
about something
other than me
department. so
you get another
red daschund,
short haired,
and brown eyed,
he's as lively
as a hot wire
fallen in a wind
storm. you
put him in your
lap as you drive
home from pet
smart and he curls
up and begins to
chew a hole in
your new leather
coat. he licks
the rim of your
coffee cup.
he is excited
to be with you,
to be anywhere
but in a cage,
and he pees all
over your leg.
you make a sudden
u-turn and go
back. you're not
quite ready for
this kind of
love again.

the rent is overdue

tomorrow you
need to move out,
the landlord says.
your rent is way
overdue, and i
don't like the
company you've
been keeping lately.
i can smell
the smoke all
over the building,
and what's that
cooking?
he says this
through the thin
wood door as
he rattles the old
knob and knocks
hard with his
fist. i want you
out, do you hear me
and your girlfriend
too. she's nothing
but trouble. and you
yell back, she's
not my girlfriend,
she's my friend
who happens to be
a girl. which
doesn't go over
well with gina
who's lying there
smoking a cigarette
in her underwear,
and shaking her head
of long black hair
like amy winehouse.

Friday, February 4, 2011

springtime in paris

i see you standing
outside the liquor
store with a cigarette
in hand, waiting for
it to open. and you
yell out to me as i
cross the street to
avoid you, you say
loudly, stepping
to the edge of
the curb, i don't have
a drinking problem,
my problem is with
you. and you wave
a finger at me and
curse. you'd better
walk away, you yell.
you'd better keep
walking buddy. it
seems like just
yesterday when we
were in paris,
holding hands and
staring into one
another's eyes
at a small cafe,
with the april sun
warm upon our faces.

naked love

the trees have
undressed themselves
of leaves
and shiver in
the blue twilight
of dawn, they
hardly sway with
their bare branches,
thickened with
nothing on.
they have no place
to hide, and neither
do i in my naked
love for you.

crack in the ceiling

there is work
to be done, paper
work mostly
that sits and sits
on the diningroom
table, the calculator
plugged in,
the coffee on,
pencils sharpened,
the ledger open
and waiting, as
blank now as a
white winter sky
at dawn. but you put
it off as you do
the call you need
to make, the talk
you need to have.
that crack that runs
across the ceiling
that you've been
staring at for months.

do not wander far

do not wander
far you tell
your children
playing in
the yard,
stay where i
can see you,
from the window,
in a place
safe where i can
call you in,
and it's not
long before
the years go by
that they will
say to you what
you have said
to them.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

your guilt

your folded
hands
and silence
tells me more
than all you've
ever said
or done. no
defense, no
up in arms
to explain,
just the broad
clean stroke
of guilt
and quiet
remains,
which i will
remember and
have only that
to take away.

add love

inside, deep
within the cupboard
in the far
corner of the top
shelf you find
a recipe, hand
written by the previous
tenant, not the one
you loved, but
the other one, who
died alone and widowed
in the room
you now sleep in.
and it's a recipe
for a cake. flour,
sugar, eggs, salt, etc.
but at the bottom
it says, with a small
drawn smile etched
at the end of
ingredients. add
love, it says. at
least a pinch or two
add love.

before painting lemons

before she
paints,
she studies
lemons
in the early
light of
morning. bold
odd shaped
lemons with
pointed tips,
of cruel
hard yellow,
in a white
bowl.
and her lips
pucker with
the memory
of one cut,
the sting
of him still
fresh, before
the brush moves
in her hand,
the wet blot
of yellow
waiting to be
touched.

to clean

the small
church where
you like to
go and hit
your knees
to confess
or send up
a prayer,
or plea,
is quiet on
this february
morning,
just the cleaning
lady with her
bucket and rags,
the cross
on the wall,
some candles
lit, and me.

empty pockets

you don't
believe in
wallets, or
man purses,
you just can't
go there, so
your pockets
are full of
loose change,
some bills,
keys, and mints,
some napkin
numbers smudged,
a chinese
menu, assorted
pens and lint,
one last
photo of me
and you,
you can't wait
to get home
to empty them.

delivery

up too late
you rise
out of bed
and find your
pants, your
shoes, someone
is at the door,
mostly likely
with bad news.
it's only seven,
who or what
and why would
they be
knocking so
frantically long
and hard this
early in the morning
you go down
the stairs,
stumbling, still
woozy from
the night before.
and you open
the door to a
blustery wind,
and it's the little
girl from down
the block with
two boxes under
her arms. she says
your cookies are
here, your thin
mints have come in.

understanding

in the morning
it's a clear
glass of water
on the nightstand
with the imprint
of your lipstick
still on the rim
that makes me
get up and finally
pour it out and
place it in
the kitchen sink.
never again.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

chinese?

for once in
your frivolous
life could you
please
get serious
she says. tell
me and don't
clown around,
tell me true, do
you or do you
not love me,
i need an
answer or i'm
gone, i'm out
of here on
the first train,
the last bus,
the fastest plane,
i'm going
back to my
husband, if he
even knows i'm
gone. i grimmace,
i scratch at
the grey stubble
on my face, my
hair. i'm really
reallly
hungry i tell
her, chinese?

your empty shoes

i see your shoes
in the hallway,
on the mat in
front of your
door, sitting
side by side
without you in
them, they are
black and not
quite new,
perhaps your
favorites now
to walk you
through the day.
i see your
shoes in
the hallway
and remember when
mine were
there too.

house for sale

after the divorce
and the sign is
planted in the yard
clanging in
the march wind,
the agent
wants to change
everything around.
move the couch
to the window
the wing chair
to a corner. she
wants the walls
painted white,
the photos taken
down and boxed.
the trash and
debris, the beer
cans and pizza
crusts cleared
from the counter,
she wants a benign
and safe place
for the new owner
to feel at home
and not be a part
of your crumbling
world.

hard candy

sometimes you
need a piece
of hard candy,
something sweet
for the taste,
something with
flavor, to rest
and melt upon
your tongue,
to savor it's
slow melt between
your lips
and gum. some
times you need
some candy to
get you through
the night. not
a bag, not a
handful, just one.

the old client

the house smells
of alcohol and
medicine, ashes,
dishes in the sink,
from last night,
last week?
brown bottled pills
dot the shelves,
line up like
stout soldiers
awaiting their orders.
and he sits in his
formed chair,
waiting, but not
for me, he has
forgotten about
the work, but he
smiles and reaches
back as far as
he can, to try
and remember, but
he can't and says,
my shoulder hurts,
i think i did it
playing golf and
his stare follows
the mailman's truck
as it rolls slowly
through the snow
beyond the window.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

city lights

your kiss will
get me home
in the rain,
under the pink
glow of city
lights.
the soft shower
is warm on
this february
night, with
so far to
go, so many
miles to
travel before
i find sleep,
before my head
hits the pillow
and i begin
to think more
of you and dream.

date night

i'm out of
z bags
for the hoover
and i really
need to
vacuum before
you come
over, so if
you don't
mind, when
you buy the
wine, stepping
into target
for a bunch
of z bags, oh
and some lemon
pledge too.
the table
you like to
put your boots
on needs
a shine.

belly dancing

she takes a belly
dance class
on wednesday
at the rec center,
although
strangely she
has none. her
tummy is as flat
as a board, she is
mary martin on
a vine, swinging
across the stage,
and yes, i know
with that random
observation, that
i'm most likely
showing
my advanced age,
but this belly
dancing class
warms her blood,
and gets her crazed
with the drumbeat
and flute, making
her shake and shimmy,
gyrate like a blender
on puree, she knows
how to get that
cobra to rise
out of the basket
in the corner, i'm
all for this belly
dancing, it beats
the knitting class
she took before.

what the gypsy says

you will prosper
and be rich, but
there are times
when you will be
poor too, so save
your money. your
heart will be broken
but then healed
again and again
as you find new
love. you are
resilient and
strong that way.
your children
will not listen
when they are
young, but they
will understand
as they get older
and love you all
the more. you will
have sadness in
your life as
loved ones die,
and as people fail
you, but joy too,
as you make new
friends. and how do
you know all of this,
i ask her. and she
smiles, i tell
everyone exactly
the same thing. oh,
and by the way,
be careful out there,
when you leave.
the traffic is
bad crossing the road.