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Fairy Tale Endings

from an untitled serial poem (2)

tufts of dark fur

scraps of red cloth

broken glasses pools

of wine the remnants

of someone’s meal

are splashed across

the cottage like blood

on a butcher’s apron

she is not here

neither is he

one fled

one’s dead

birds hop and sing

on the window sill

a family of rabbits

nibble grass

along the path

the door lies shattered

on the ground

dry splinters of wood

punctuate the grass

with unvoiced cliches

(January 3, 2020)

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Lightning Ignites the Core of a Tree

All around him, the forest burns,

uncontrolled, beautiful.

The warmth reassures him

with its certainty.

His fingers burn; the flesh

chars as on a spit.

He turns, searching;

but she is gone, if ever

she were truly there.

He stands alone,

arms outstretched.

Flames leap through the trees;

smoke swallows the sky.

(December 10, 2019)

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Sunday Morning

In downtown Baltimore

Years after he died

Lou Reed sings from the sound system

Of this corporate hotel lobby.

This is funnier

Than it should be.

I am almost sixty years old,

Attending an English teacher convention.

Back in Austin, hours later,

I casually toss herbs into the mortar,

And without thought, begin to grind:

“I don’t want to know…

All the streets you’ve crossed

Not so long ago”

(November 24, 2019)

Within a Dream

The sound of my last dream

will be silence: the silence

of fog, the silence of fear.

My last dream will echo

the clack of high heels

on wet London streets.

My last dream will be warm

like your bare skin beneath

my hands late at night.

My last dream will linger

over the thousand, thousand

kisses: your lips soft,

warm, hungry for more.

My last dream will be free

of doubt, secure in coherence

with all the lines blurred.

My last dream will not wake

to return me to a place

it can never know.

My last dream will be

a harbor, a sanctuary, 

a last whispered breeze.

(October 15, 2019)