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)
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)
I cannot focus too long
anymore on text
on the flow of sentences
from page to page
or often from word
to word except for
the sounds they make
like small rocks clack
agains a well’s wall
before the ruffled splash
absorbs what small
meaning was left
among the tightly
(September 29, 2018)
advice to my 15-year-old self
Keep writing; it defines you.
you are about to meet your wife;
she is not your current crush.
Your dad is dying.
In a couple of months, he’ll know.
It will take two years.
Except for your wife,
who you do not know yet,
no one thinks like you.
Poetry will save you
now, and again forever:
so read more, write more.
You will become who you are.
Quit German, learn Spanish.
(September 17, 2018)