I would pluck you
from the reachless branch,
your incandescent orb
unclustered, you’d rise
and do, up through far
shuddering sweet gum tips.
I would have you
golden full, my hands
wrapped blue and lips
on orchid faded sky.
in candle round, ardent
lobe and lucent light,
say you are more
than moon. I have mistaken
you for fruit, feasting
high with Venus.
How did I make it
through a five night
hospital stay, through
a burst and a fever,
a night-watch brigade
and circle of steaming
doubt. How did I sail
one full moon to the next,
one full sink of dirty
dishes to the next. How
did I plant the seeds
on time and water the annuals
so the leaves wouldn’t fail
the spring. How did the same
sun that ripens sweet peas,
tulips, and zucchinis,
melts M&Ms to the car seat
and makes my front porch bake,
place a small, warm kiss
on my cheek as if it were sentient
and knew need. How is it
that just then I could
not stop crying. One morning
in April when all was clearly
so much better than good enough.
Granted, this is more like a journal entry than a poem, but I’ve included it in April’s collection of attempts at poetry because there is some core here I may want to revise later. Thank you for reading.
It is raining on Boat Street.
The tempo leaves a soft grey residue
around thoughts I’d rather have.
A quiet angel has landed
on the shingled roof of my storage shed.
We share the same view: crab grass
splurging triumphantly, baby slugs
like tiny bruises between raindrops.
Running a trowel through stringy roots
I catch myself clenching my teeth
looking for buried dish towels,
unearthing things I have yet to dismiss.
Daffodils seem careless
gravel strewn tracks
where the only other green
is a pile of broken glass
half buried in coals.
The heartwood stands hard
unwrung, inner wisdom
of a fortress now undone.
A child’s flannel nighshirt
billows close to the hearth, and two-
handed warriors grit teeth hard won.
Someone’s small house
on the outskirts of town, burns
and gusts overblown,
to smell the green forest
before it is down.
In the mocking blue ice cave under her skin
she forages for dry white sticks. Fingers
of a flame gone blind, she counts
thirty-nine tics on the greyleaf willow.
Her belly is dropping. This is her child’s
asclepieia. Sutures dissolve.
She does not blame greed
for a fuming and finite earth. Buried
alive, dusty bulbs find their way.
Deepest roots drink from a dying sun.
A silver tip tetra sky
spits out clouds like smoke.
Night phantoms dissolve. Suspended
droplets glaze the red-leafed maple branch
catching back their light. Raptors perch here,
meadow frogs croak. I can not hear
you anymore. The landscape is awake,
and its vapor has loosened your hold.