Alone

I fear silence

for it leaves me

to my words.

Their whispers

mouth

my periphery,

like minnows

tear a worm’s

flesh from

the steel hook

glimmering

in a creek’s

slow eddy.

(May 11, 2021)

ephemera (131)

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

each evening

the day’s tasks

settle around you

like dust

in an abandoned house


the fire is low

the room dark

you are worn

a ragged coat

hung upon a chair


tomorrow will differ

only in its minutia

what you will have

for dinner and what

words you will say


(April 11, 2021)

like televisions in empty rooms (128)

at night a window becomes a mirror

where I see through my face 

floating upon the glass like ghosts
outside the trees glow in moonlight

I open another door and walk out

across the grass mixing my shadow

with the night’s mottled shadows

as if dark lace woven into the earth

I turn back to watch what I’ve left behind

the figures in the house move silently

from room to room like actors 

rehearsing how they will say what they say

(April 1, 2021)

Four poems from a series (115-118)

each breath (115)

a butterfly turns

from the chrysalis’s shell

then flutters away like breath

(February 4, 2021)

problematic poetics (116)

each image resists

the metaphor’s

transformation

(February 4, 2021)

each tongue a border (117)

i struggle to translate

my language to words

i may speak with others

who are closest to me

and who are said

to share my tongue

(February 4, 2021)

vocabulary impediments (118)

talk normal 

there boy

(February 4, 2021)

the rime grows thick (83)

you walk home

it’s late 

the snow falls

as thick as your dreams

when suddenly you think

you’re lost and the wood

nearby is strangely

far from home


the bright lights flash

patterns on the snow

like christmas lights

in the village square


the sheriff interrupts you

to say no that yes it is

a normal amount of blood

for a woman that size


you laugh at the absurdity

of dying so close to your home

what was the point of leaving

when you had nowhere to go

(October 12, 2020)

Day’s End

If I could peel these veins

from my arms and fashion

them into a noose,

then I’d find a dead tree

to swing upon

like a tattered paper lantern

dancing in an empty breeze.

(August 30, 2020)

alone

from a work in progress: “Memory and Silence” (83)

without chatter

without books

without the day’s noise

with only gossipy mouthings

within my head

with nothing to shore against


I drown in the slurry

gasping for air

(August 2, 2020)

in the absence of god

from a work in progress, “process, not a journey” (66)

a grey cat twitches

her tail in the grass

.

who has time

to listen

to a sparrow’s

stressed twit-twit

from a tree

(June 19, 2020)

that strain again

from a work in progress: process, not a journey (54)

what music does he hear

when he wakes in the night

and the moon has slipped

like ice through the window

(April 18, 2020)

futility’s song

Everything we do is futile, but we must do it anyway.

—Mahatma Gandhi

she dances

casting off ghosts

like skin

she has no bones

no laughter

to lace

the pettiness

tossed on her

like shrouds

to disguise the decay

she avoids

yet accepts

.

she dances

as her feet shuffle

a stolid beat

to disrupt silence’s

desolate

reign

she has no words

to mouth

against herself

no cloak

against the coldest

wind

(April 17, 2020)