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Pathfinder

A crowded smile in the middle of the street. 
Waiting for someone to come pat me on the 
neck and get that blood flowing. Faucets of life
drenching the crosswalk and not a soul crossing—
Lost and found on a Sunday morning. What a 
time to remember being born, to taste the earthiness
of wilting sunshine between low coastal fog. 
Do the leaves always scatter so, tossed like 
halloween candy from an unfriendly doorway?
My legs are restless and endless. The shadows 
from light poles saunter wide across the grey streets
laughingly running over cars. I’ve heard it said 

that the path is the path, and the obstacles are the way. 
Just never considered which side I was on. 

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Hands Together

I want to hold all things at once
caught snug between forefinger and thumb.
To never let a tear slink itself down 
the chalky contours of an empty face. 
The wave ———— rears up in angst to crash
delayed ————— upon the whole heart of the surfer 
who waits ———– trusting no one around her. Have
the lessons ———- been written yet that need to be learned.
Oh, little mouse. You’ve taught the world 
to cater their whims down to the toothpick 
to loathe your litany just as you do. Clutching 
the ocean in an empty fist is a sure way to 

hold it all in. Half escapes and falls 
to the seafloor and half absorbs forever.  

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Thus Should Have Ended Our Travels

dust bidden and stronger for it
with arm muscles wide enough to carry 
the coastal world upon untired shoulders, 
an indefatigable grin lightly on the brow. 
Yet be it that a swooping wasteland  
came to knock the rubber right off her 
rampaging, unlimited upon the full scope 
of the soul. Broken. Sorely borrowed.
To become cowards in moments like these
is the real pity. To raise the chin once more 
and begin again is no effort at all; there is 
no chagrin in the epilogue of a victim. 

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Tall Orders

A horse and her rider lay prone on a glassy hill. 
Trace a finger down the slope and we come to The
Base—which in this case we may simply call 
The Problem. The horse keeps her head down but 
the rider sits up, placing two shiny palms against
the slipperiness of the hill. She sees something like 
the aftermath of a supernova, the early immigrations
of the English folk and realizes—deeply—where she is. 
If she were to rush to her feet, she would surely 
slip against the slickness of the hill and plummet down 
unburdened to The Base. Where the debris awaits. 
If she were to stay, she risks eternal anxiety. Another sort of death. 

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Raw Materials

Every tree in the orchard dangles ripely, unjustly 
dripping luscious fruit the size of four hands. The 
imposter sits, supremely still, in the midst of it all 
and gazes upon the garden scene. The kale is full 
to overflowing; the carrots are digging a well for 
themselves; the rabbits have compounded labor 
for a new wire fence and the imposter gazes down 
at her hands. These hands? Only two hands. 
What’s the use of two hands with these fruit trees? 
Two hands catch nary a seed, for the seed is 
the whole, and these hands are but two. Marigolds 
face the drowning sun rays and try to hold tight 

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Mona Lisa’s Dog

Not many people know it but Mona Lisa had a dog. 

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Voyages of a Footfall

Voyages of a footfall in late November 
in the woods west of Kansas City. Boot tread
the color of faded apple dust, scenting 
like a coon hound the wizened mushroom 
stumps of a wild summer. I’m not quite sure
where I am, until I reach the pond — 
then my black gloved hands gently nurse
a calm hello to the bark of the dogwoods 
that line the scummy lagoon like sentries. 
In the erotic decay of a late afternoon 
I search for the lillies. The yellow ones 
grow here, all the way until first frost. 

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Balanced

Look out the window sometime; 
with the bold winds dancing through
the Banyan trees it’s pretty in a lanced way, 
a little bodega in the neighborhood-way. 
From the balcony, I can hear gentle laughter 
of soccer boys and soccer girls 
kicking dogwood trees instead of soccer balls. 
Damn, if it doesn’t get me every time. 
If I were older, I would have fled the scene
and left the dimes and dollars for a loss—
but the balanced way the sun light 
hits the nonsense breeze — 

makes me look left and right 
and over and under every time.

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Citizens

Pink lips fleshy in the strength 
of a noon day sun, bright against
a man with white hair, the lips moving 

endlessly near the crosswalk. 
I couldn’t hear what he 
was saying. I don’t think he could

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Blue Jays


Tough. (I don’t feel tough though, my tongue 
is on the gritty floor and covered in dirt and
debris from a weekend of debauchery. I don’t 
feel anything other than tired.) I’m told the 
blue jays mate even when they’re dying, as if 
evolution could not hold a reverent bow 
for the last breath of an angry bird. Supposedly 
that attitude was in the contract I signed 
a year ago, though the angry part suits me 
the best. I didn’t used to be so angry. 

I think I used 
to be tough. 

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Nunnery

For all intents and purposes 
I’m in a nunnery here. 

The walls are perfectly 
seamless, creased at the edges 
like good walls, the good girls 
the good cockroaches the good 
Lord will take it all away 
When He So Wishes. 

Fair enough. 

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Honestly

From destiny comes our definition for 
curiosity — ragged dog-eared library books 
waiting for the reshelving, theoretically loved 
but abused
nonetheless. 

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