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Coupled

At home, they sit across from each other

like a pair of stone-silent gargoyles, when

he sighs to himself as if with remorse.

Looking up, she asks, out of politeness,

“Is something wrong?”  He shakes his head, and says, 

embarrassed that he had spoken out loud,

“Oh, Nothing, just thinking, at least nothing

important enough to say:  just thinking.” 

They watch each other with a quiet calm 

like the still center of a raging storm; 

each happy enough at home not to stir 

up any conversations to avoid. 

Slowly, they fall into their silences,  

starkly alone with their thoughts together. 

(April 18, 2019)

Inconsolable Time

old-man-walking-with-a-cane-underwood-archives

 

Time undoes itself

like an old man

who struggles to recall

why he left the house,

so he returns home

baffled and incomplete.

Each moment contains

its own distractions—

a turning away,

as if embarrassed

to be recognized

as someone else.

There is no time

to recoup, other

than what remains:

a gathering, like lovers

holding each other

against the dark

longing not to be alone.

 

(April 16, 2018)

Garden Meditation

Her roses break into my hands;
the petals drift through my fingers
like stars.  I don’t know where I’ve been,
or why she disappeared that night:
the trees danced darkly against the
darkening sky, like the troubled
edges of Van Gogh’s  Starry Night.
Each moment glistens like morning
rain, the sun sliding through the drops
as we slow dance tangentially.
There are no contours to divide,
no green topographical maps
to consult. If I knew where
I was going – – I couldn’t be lost.
Instead I am here, befuddled,
as her roses tremble to earth.

(July 12, 2016)