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Heart Clench

 

Dusty was the mindset I set before me
my jaw so tight my temples blossomed like
children splashing in puddles, my world went
westward, huddled in southernlys I thought
I’d grow old like this, I thought
I’d shrink so little I’d become
the dust in mind —

But the car door opened wide and, with a haze of warmth,
you appeared;
heart clench, baby.

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The Flower and the Cyclist

 

The wind lifts and gusts,
a squeaky whine of bicycle tire on hot asphalt,
she rides the air with bits of dust and street debris
and the cyclist sweats the streets to puddles.

Her lithe body is frosted and at float
his lean frame bends like the letter P
she buds so nearly at the ends
his rusted fingers grip roughened handlebars.

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Descending

 

So it is with civilized care
that I kneel down to the open blank
pages of a crease-lined book and cast
my memories in its bronze borders.
You’re my marauder, my hopeless staircase
looting the use from my crouching soul and leading me
to dark places too deep to stay dark.

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Look Up

 

Only the birds carry the wind.

With shrieks and shrills, they deposit
their carriage amongst the palm trees, who—
messengers themselves—gorge
and sweep the leftovers into cracks of
white-plastered windows. Dust,
remnants of historic footstep fabrics, plays
as if she has a choice; and with breathless youth
flaps tiny wings and succumbs to the breeze.

Dust is a messenger, too,
brought long ago by the birds.
The task for Dust is to linger
long enough for a finger to trace
the blades of a ceiling fan and crease
a brow or two.

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Courtyard Scene

 

The sun plays on the fronds of the ferns,
the ones which frame the courtyard in dappled glitters
of sweet breeze through palm.
Light dribbles lucidly across the cobblestones,
a symphony of pigeon toes scuttling
across stones with nails like safety pins.

The barista has her fingers twisting
through her hair and sex on the mind.
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Seaside Avenue

 

Once here,
I let out a long breath ;

the sound thuds dully against the window pane
which streams in sunlight from a morning mister.
The sound from my breath outweighs
the sounds of diggers and cranes
from the site on the other side
of Seaside Avenue.

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Visions

 

I keep my eyes open when I look at you.
Your lips read: espresso for here, please
& my fingertips tap against the plastic screen
& I slide it to you with
my eyes open.
You criss-cross your skin, diagramming the name
you’ve owned for years, & before
you leave for the corner table, you
reach deep into your pockets.

I’ve met you before–
daily;
hourly;
on busy days, on the minute
and I wonder:

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Self Serving

 

I wrote myself some love poems
today, outlined in sun near the
ocean’s smile. The waves beat down
upon charcoal rocks and up
frothed a great many minerals. I
absorbed them all, flesh-first, like
the fern drinks in the rain. I loved

myself with pen and with sun; when
thirsty, I drank; when hungry, I
ate; when sleepy, I slept—and felt
no reason to do otherwise.

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Write Long

 

Be patient,
and write long. As long as the strokes of your
eye lashes pulse the fingers to keys, then
both of us remain alive. Be patient.
Your dreams have no anchors; let them float light.
Let the throat grow easy and jaw relax.
Open and close the hinges of your mouth
and feel the knobs of your shoulders merge with
the elbows. There is time for us yet.

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Step Two

 

Step two :

Get small,
she said—small as possible

you ain’t gonna reach the earth
if you insist on being so big.
Curl your toes; just like that
til you sink neatly in on your center–
double, triple, crisp and clean-cut
like a paper brochure
tuck yourself under and let the head
droop.

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Step One

 

Step one :

I throw up my hands
and jump out the bus window—

What you doing?!
I shriek
and laugh
as my face slams against the hot asphalt.

A car screeches beside
my left foot. Sticky exhaust
blossoms into my mouth
from the butt of the bus
and the squirrel
by the trash can
squeaks.

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The Rock and the River

 

At the top of the outcrop
I sat with my knee-bones tight to my chest—

the river undulated
below, swirling
in shades of blues and yellows

refracted light on stones of marble

the guttural current cut the cliff
to slices–jagged & twisted and

Continue reading “The Rock and the River”