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Speak Into Silence



S

As if with a spoon,

she scoops the words

from his pliant mouth.

The rounded vowels,

and crisp consonants

shred her tongue

with shards of ice.

Meanwhile, with slick

knives, he carves

all conversation, 

leaving bits of blood,

like rose petals,

to stain the ground

in a red-wet lust.

Neither he, not she,

can speak into

what was said.

They stare, stunned,

past empty eyes;

their mouths slack

like the recent dead.

(February 5, 2019)

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Fellowship

from “Renditions of Change,” a work in progress

We ate a simple shared meal,

a sixteen-bean soup with bits

of Christmas ham. Afterward

we played a counting card game:

They laughed and talked awkwardly,

as players dropped from the game.

I realized, once again,

I do not fit in.

(January 31, 2019)

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Holding Together

to Lisa

from “Change,” a work in progress

Holding Together

For decades now—

I cannot imagine

waking without you.

We move together

like rivers

through the earth.

Even when lost

in tidal shifts,

we are an ocean

holding together

who we are

in the world.

We share this day,

with each small embrace.


(January 25, 2019)

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Ars Poetica: The Fiction of Truth


Since I do understand the importance

Of narrative, I tell stories without

Telling stories, like now, as I write this

Poem. I’ve created a fiction of me,

Truthfully, yet still a grounded fiction,

Who is speaking to you, someone absent,

As if we were strangers ordered to share

A rough table in a pub. But instead 

of talking about the local football 

team, or rudely about the government,

I talk to you as if you are in love,

Listening, as I speak, rather than write,

These simplistic thoughts upon this blank page,

And pretend you did not leave years ago.

(January 11, 2019)

Chromosome Damage (work in progress, part 3)

(41)

The sideways shift and snip

Clatters across the sand.

It’s easier to move out of the way—

Trouble passes, one remains

To proceed with plodding step

Along one’s path.

(3)

Time’s slow arc

(34)

All the variables led here

As inevitable as this morning’s

Sun striking the sycamore’s white

Bark; no god laughs as our choices.

(14)

A left, a right, a yes, a no:

Life’s crushed to binary.

(16)

I close an eye

To see the obvious

Connection: the moment.

(15)

I stumble step across a bridge

Swinging above a crevasse.

(21)

No saints guide us home,

Nor care how far we fall.

The emptiness opens

Like an aura.

(43)

This morning everyone sleeps in

As fog drifts between the trees

Near the creek and the gray sky.

The last brown leaf has fallen

From the sycamore; the solstice

Passed under a full moon.

(30)

Dusk and dawn, progressive

And simultaneous, flow through

The landscape. Yet, we think

Our futile actions have consequence.

(19)

Like you,

Light bends

Along each wave’s edge

Into separate

And singular parts.