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Prey

Since I am 

no snake

sloughing skin,

I hide my scars 

in an imagined other.

Not the obvious,

oblivious sheep,

but one more wary,

who waits

along the edge

knowing fear,

knowing

like rabbits:

one step left,

one step right,

without calculation,

equals death;

and any

volition ends

with a quick flutter

of feathers,

and the talon’s

sharp pang

lifting one

toward heaven

like a song.

(October 1, 2019)

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This Day Today

“same as it ever was”

                        David Byrne

Less time waits ahead

than has been left behind.

I enter the last third

of my life as if entering

a room in a familiar

house. Lasts will out pace

firsts, until the last breath

sighs into the stale air,

the last heart beat falters

to finish the room’s silence

like the last furtive shadows

flee an early morning sun.

Still, this day is my day,

until it is not, and I move on.

(September 30, 2019)

Nearby

Rose petals on a ground

Like flowers in a slow conversation’s

eddy, he floats through his circular day.

Nothing’s amiss. Almost, as memory,

the pattern persists; almost as if he

whispers to someone who listens nearby.

Each flower’s petals fall, by troubled turns,

until the air is not enough to hold 

the incoherent world; and, like glass,

it shatters into the composting earth,

oblivious to its own slow demise.

The flower unfolds into its silence;

the swift flutter of bird song in the trees;

the rough caress of dry leaf on dry leaf;

the winter wind’s incessant pulse and pause;

are nothing to his flower’s petal’s fall.

(March 20, 2019)

Linear Circles

L

The beginning squeezes back

like a hermit crab retreats

deeper into its ever-tightening

shell. This moment opens

into and closes off the last

and next, as we each pretend

we are a cumulative consequence.

God, if extant, does not care

about time and its causes, the click

and clack of the marble rolling

through preordained mechanics,

nor the butterfly landing on her hand.

I fear pat endings’ homilies,

as if someone turns off the lights.

(February 15, 2019)