some poems

i wish to thank the eternal yawning sky
for the calculated space to fall
as a prayer cradled in an exploding dandelion
blown into ever unfolding blue,
for the liquid unearthing of
roots I now know are mere mirages of circumstance,
and for the phases of the moon
spread like a necklace across our collarbones

the foreign planets are untouchable chaos-keepers
secrets taking flight and dying,
alighting on Saturn’s sticky rings
during the very brave act of reaching out to us
in celestial camaraderie
or at least pure mimicry
having heard from invisible winds
about the way our plants greet life
by emerging from the ground
our customs may be strange,
but then again
they break the silence
that the constellations have kept
for millions of years

don’t look in my eyes,
said god
go move that mountain
go taste that sorrow
go learn your lessons
even if halfway
just look away
so you may better see
that in my garden,
separation makes everything complete

give me the sweet curve of your ear
i will take you to the lake to fill you with
the snowdrift eveningsong of cicadas
until you become a vessel of chiming, chirping crystal
pushed by easy winds across
dying summer’s downward sloping dunes
burrowing beneath time’s dry sand,
leaving no treasures in your chest
unpolished or untarnished

if we’re poised on the razor’s edge of collapse
rushing by glittering coastlines, crushed like glass
their crumbling sigh will be my gift to you
the horizon’s nature is to fall,
so I will look towards its electric mirror
where words are lost and shattered
where tides are swirled and scattered
when we lie down
i will be the sleeping face you see in mountains
crowned by piercing dreams of shooting stars

Unemployment Insurance
i can eat the lemon light
dropped inside my frigid gut
by way of sunset window
mandolining my esophagus,
a flutterkicking world descends
in whiskey-heated night
pobre, puncture my door with outside air
cling to me unwashed in anything but evening
marry me beneath shattered trees
winterlicked, our bones slicked bare
structured, thin, believing
i invited you here today
because I know you too are old,
that you feel better when you’re hungry,
and I write better when I’m cold

The Tower, The Temple
when structures fall, they burn like temples
towers are vessels that fulfill our need to be held
when they char as they come to an end
bonds shuddering, crushed into loose plumes of dust
sturdy wood crackling from useless backbone
what you built disappears
into the progress of flames
what we lose, remains
is a belief buried into my silent pretext
to taste sadness alone
carrying one lost home to the next
i can’t shake the suspicion
that the altruistic instinct to protect small things is false
when I pity, my weak seed seeks out your shivering softness
wanting to heal you is wanting to heal myself
all hurts are the same, whether passed between hands
where soft whispers planted warmth in you and good love grew
or where shallow breaths still sting a place in my ribs
where my brother’s head lay before he passed away
i believe pain creates a chain or a wave
empathy turns empty holes into footholds for others
just as loss digs away undergrowth for space
and flames clear a place for roots in new soil

churned up by the muscled sea
deposited in nude folds of dunes comfortably
ground down by the wind’s white teeth
dissolved in a blue so deep we’ll never see it
caking the bleached beach furniture
rhyming its way to land over the yawning years
possessive of all our old things
soaked in the water, fluid after seasons of rain
pitting the sand with its delicate beating
drying out in summer heat
preserving urns, shells, stones, bones
calcifying the windows silently
coating what hides in your soul like soft snails
turning into chalky marble our memories
digesting the musculature of your moving form
the wind, the moon, they talk to me
this sea, the salt, it ages me

Night in Haiti
one by one
they arrive, the insects
cavorting and twisting their way
through the hustle of rustling sheets
into the waiting pages of my bed
through the vanilla night they fly
patiently devoting their one-drop lives to
come to rest on my light, my lingerie,
on the low mattress where I sleep
to watch a dance develop
between a dreamer and her dreams

For Deda
I will save this prayer for you
For after you are gone
Let’s gather up our precious moments now
To live forever on
Remember when small and old, we walked
Along the shivering yellow leaves?
We liked the dying season best
For warmth, reflection, and repose
I cried, afraid, of the littered woods
As if the pinecones set a trap
Every step seemed perilous
To a child new to the world.
Your laugh, your wrinkles, filtered doubt
Like sunlight dappling the autumn trees
Birds of a feather, observing the flight of geese,
Each pulsing rhythm of the year a brand new start,
A brand new closing.
Chilly in bed at midday, you knew explorers needed rest
You held my fingers in your hand and squeezed each one,
An ancient gesture of respect.
Revolutions bear us further down their tide -
I grew, and cobwebs covered your spine
Bated breath, we wait until we near the end
But we don’t dwell in sorrow, you and I,
For it has ever been our friend.