A Dagger Which I See Before

from “Renditions of Change” a work in progress

A

Tentatively, I stumble down

the hall in the dark. This time,

this is not a dream. I tell

myself I will kill myself

tomorrow. I laugh, as if

I was joking. Then I hear

a draft of a first line,

and hope I can hold it long

enough to write it down

before I drown in a river

of my own clotted blood.

(February 9, 2019)

Again

A

Even against prevailing winds,

the pattern persists—Happiness

is a myth. Too troubled to

untangle this moment from

the last, I am trapped in

a quandary of happenstance,

an Irish know woven from briar.

Unlike Lao Tzu by a pond, I hesitate

allowing decisions to pass undecided.

I don’t wait for the wind to fall,

or the murk to settle into clarity.

(February 8, 2019)

Possession in Great Measure

from “Renditions of Change,” a work in progress

As I teach my students,

I try to be honest

in who I am;

yet, fear

I’m a fraud.

Teaching’s resistance:

how to read,

analyze,

break meaning from words–

then rewrite

in the students’ voices

without becoming

a lie that exalts

the life

they are not.

(February 7, 2019)

Speak Into Silence



S

As if with a spoon,

she scoops the words

from his pliant mouth.

The rounded vowels,

and crisp consonants

shred her tongue

with shards of ice.

Meanwhile, with slick

knives, he carves

all conversation, 

leaving bits of blood,

like rose petals,

to stain the ground

in a red-wet lust.

Neither he, not she,

can speak into

what was said.

They stare, stunned,

past empty eyes;

their mouths slack

like the recent dead.

(February 5, 2019)