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August 18, 2015

with summer still in their eyes

The sun was setting earlier than yesterday, and the cows
were uneventful. The road would bring no more traffic 
that evening. Fifteen miles a way, a town rested its tired arms.
The travelers were tired, too. They cobbled dinner together
from the findings in a country store - iceberg lettuce, baked potatoes,
a wedge of local cheese - then slunk outdoors to catch the final light.
They each felt a scratch at their backs, a new season tapping its nails
against their thin shirts. They knew this moment couldn't last.
And yet, with summer still in their eyes, they waited until the final rays
disappeared behind the mountains, until the stars arrived, like answers.

August 11, 2015

still life with sunflowers

The bees were everywhere, zigzagging between rows.
It was impossible to contemplate the view, stand
motionless in the fray of such busyness, or angle in
for a better look. The noise of their work shook my camera,
the sting too close for comfort. But that, of course, 
is where the beauty is, a wing-flutter away, skin
bared to what might touch it. It would have been easier
to turn around, backtrack toward the car, set the frame
behind glass, and call that enough. But it wasn't.
It isn't.



August 4, 2015


You troll the storehouse for the length of sentences you’ve been
safekeeping for battle. You pass your tongue over each 
lumpy word, memorize the order. You gather the curtains dusting
the edges of the story you’d tucked into every line 
of palm,
every crease of heart, each bend and fold of your body. 

You hold this refined army up by the neck, ready to thrust it forward 
as evidence of your injury, preparing yourself for the hefty assault that will follow 
as you volley back with further proof. But then, face to face at last, 
you find your soldiers have abandoned their posts, and it is just you,
standing there, looking into the eyes of someone you love, and have, always.


July 28, 2015

the joy of sweeping
after Wallace Stevens

I don't know which to prefer,
an empty room 
or the door
that fills it,
the settling of dust
or its disturbance,

the silence
or the song.

The clearing,
or just after.


July 21, 2015

leave it to the peacocks

Leave it to the peacocks to draw the crowds. Let them preen and amble,
garishly, across a manicured lawn. Let them fan their resplendent tails
behind them. Let the camera shutters immortalize their barrel-chested poses,
their plucky radiance, their unembarrassed grandeur. Let them make a grand
parade, and let the children kneel, fleshy kneed, to offer plump fistfuls
of breadcrumbs. You are hovering somewhere in the shadows, or a distant
matrix of branches obscured by a canopy - and an audience - you can't control.
But no circus throws a spotlight at its perimeter. No roar delivers
the whole story, or the origins from where it came.
No single wind unmakes a bird. Your wings are fluttering all the same.