The Exhortation of Man

The birds sing and
At last my sorrows
Are given a sound


Only As Much

An accumulation of truth hell
Bent on seeing end result, a tree fell
Silent somewhere, maybe north
Where I first learned to fish or to
The east seen signaled as
Embers of a family
Photo being burned beneath cedar blossoms
And cut-off jeans, processed to paper printed
A love note in legal text, an obligation
To let you down, do it now
To save a scene,

What do I have to know
An insistent intervention
An addiction to a drug that runs
Through my veins, I am half my mother
Half my father, half ex-husband
Half failed marriage half-proof alcohol,
One-hundred percent a portrait of love’s incompetence

What do I need to know

Sundry summer day, bees kissing
Blackberry florets, sitting expected but
Unaware on picnic table watching
Jack russell bathe in black dirt-Friday
Contemplating coming sunset,
Walked out tapped flannel crossed
Shoulder, handed document
Recited rehearsed structure,
Coming out in murmur spilling
Over labor and birthdays
Anniversaries and being buried without
The matriarch holding your heart
In requited ardor, a rush
Of words thin as blood weakened
Pulling distance from existence,
Signed your stone separated and alone,
I’ll lay next to you

Dead Bolt

Constantly rotating images like a small child who
Recently acquired a red Viewmaster
Flipping non-stop
Laughing so joyously in amazement
Such a thing can exist and be held between two hands.
I think about my own throat
Face turning lapis blood vessels
Breaking in attempt to speak and I am laughing
At a 3D image portraying the death of my beloved Betta Fish,
A fillet knife resting on the table
His eyes looking up at me,
Ever running and rotating
It’s not necessarily a fantasy
Metaphor alluding to a deep rooted feeling of loss or anger
An apple once swallowed
That settled down and never came out
Every time I look in the mirror
My hands are my hands and
My face is my own but with something missing,
Not some sudden emotion that’ll pass or rot
This thought loves me and I’ve been
Biting my tongue on saying it back
Not wanting to admit that violence is my true passion
There’s enough awareness to not walk
On that side of the street anymore avoid
Making eye contact lock the door
In a neighborhood once claimed safe.
I’ve grown old, tired of pain
Being the key to happiness tired
Of constantly changing the locks
Yet always waking up to breakfast in bed,
Settling for acceptance over relief,
Dysphoria over amendment
Feeling whole isn’t worth it
If all the pieces are broken

Something To Turn To

Concentrating to remain plentiful
Becoming penumbrae for whole
Presence receding like glaciers
Of summer,
Sitting on a couch
Tattered in the backroom
Enveloped in whispers of coffee
Consumed too late lakefront glistening
Pallid reflections knocking on glass
Occasionally a fish gallops
Momentarily creating an eclipse,
A firefly flutters visions of Cygnus
Prior to Cancer
Being coherent was imperative,
Breathing was essential
Life revolved around humanity
Like latent spirits
Or assumptions
The Earth folds before us

Probably The Revitalizing Warmth of A Maple Soaked Sun

Against the warmth of a shoulder
Breathing rivers in
Knees posed as naked
Cedar branches bent and reaching
For a sliver of sunlight-


A bolt of wind blows
Striking a loosely woven quilt of wheat
Vision is temporarily forfeited-

Ran off
To open orchards of punch drunk


Falling beneath wolf river apple trees
Might the grass grow through our backs?
Might there be a chance
We can become bits and pieces of nature?
To bloom then die
To change states again and again
To transform into ferns
Sprouting in lowland libraries or lilies
Floating in an anonymous pond,
Rediscovering the other realizing we were
Always closer than initially understood-

A slight shift brings comfort to rest,
Leaning against the concrete
Base of an old rope bridge watching
Leaves fall from branch to be carried
Deep away
Down stream,
I thought about what I might miss most

A Eulogy

Clenched tightly to your chest
As if to keep what fleeting warmth close,
Arms encompassing
A vanishing equator
As if to actually hold
A pair of shoulder

Ephemeral under the absent light
Of a new moon-
A reflection of your face
Glistening with the birth of a waterfall,
There’s a loss of words
A loss of definition
Before me
You disappeared
At first tempted to coagulate,
To hold all that remains
As close as able,
What space
Does comfort truly occupy
If it remains static and safe?

A kick of dust
Became a rock thrown
So desperately and yet,
With so
I almost smiled at the sight,
From the extension of your arm
An avalanche roared into existence

And a mountain melted
Beneath a matte street lamp
Just north of the train tracks