Dog Fight

Dive with your jaws open;
anticipate his ability
to double back snapping
a hair’s width
from your wind-splayed ear.

Soar over his upturned underbelly
and peddling hind quarters
before he rises from
a clumsy about-face
that didn’t work out well.

Your instinct blitzes,
is a sun-tipped
acetylene torch
needling through
a choke-chain.

Forget about the cockpit,
remember the fang.

You have already memorized
the red cross on his tail fin
because you painted
it there yourself
one golden afternoon
spent
in the hangar.

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Flown Birds

Starlings have a better language;
the toss of a lion’s head
is more understood
than our garbled
gestures in love.
Must we piss it forth
as fine lines
on the snow;
these hours spun
in the uncertainty
of how
to touch one another.

What are words,

but surprised
frozen roses caught
round a face;
flown birds.

Unseasonably February

There were birds this morning,
as though the weakened winter sneezed.
The great dial of clicking days
grows unwieldy.
Trees pimple too soon
for the calendar,
bees rustle
in their waxy hollows.

Waiting for the train,
we wearily shoulder
ill-chosen coats,
are pipe-cleaner figures
with overdressed gestures.

The city slides by,
conjured up
through the late March
trompe l’oeil.

My eyes are full
of tortoise shell,
combing
the pomegranate crowds,
searching every face
for love.

Small Hour

I think about you in the small hour,
you are sprinkled in the pinstriped
electricity of the evening,
thin, wavered by the dark.
Your head is an Iris
blossoming out of a collar,
trembling, uneven:
brick wall graffiti
or poetry in charcoal.

I am diving and flown;
a Kingfisher lost in a wintry park.

The starlight on my cheeks.
is only a galaxy’s past-life
catching my upturned face,
significant, weak;
the fly inside a bottle,
necks of shadow cast
beneath a cedar.

I try to imagine
you looking back at me
under skinny crescents
of stingy moons
and flutter there like cash
from a cloud’s hip pocket.

Premonition

The Wild-mouse and Funhouse.
We rode in the Hammer’s caged
compartment
with nausea.

Around us,
wasp-nests
of edible pink cotton
flowered
out of many fists.
The circular gallop
of impaled steeds
pumped color up and down,
while a recorded organ
ground giddy-up harmony
into the crowd.

Boys with flung arms
snapped toward
pyramids of lead
milk-bottles;
stacked under shelves
lined with overstuffed
animals.
Their undeveloped
men drove miniature cars,
sparked and bumping
in the board-wooden shade;
they somehow, seemed shinier.

Duets of laughter
and regurgitated screams.
Gloria,
with ringlets
soaked in shallow
cups of collar bones.
Your knees,
then ankles met,
bent the calves to pigeoned toes,
elipsed the air with legs
that bowed and formed
the shape of a long heart.

Our braced mouths,
metal-toothed and two
lycra trainer-bras
supporting flat-chested
potential;
we were unacquainted
with the moon’s womb-
blood.

Carnie hotdogs and snow cones,
the funnel cake looped
through each girlish
gut knew
that this really was
all there would ever be.