Metaphoric

Thus far, we speak in metaphors:
deodars and building ruble,
prickled barbs distressed in stubble,
a bell that bids you, ‘get the door’.
My coq au vin, your veiled consent,
the break, that fake, a supplement,
in grasshoppers, as creme de menthe,
those seldom spoken, never spent,
mute conversations I adore.

Our sentences are serving terms
as prisoners with no recourse,
through wishbone breasts with curved remorse.
Your feathered mask, my wan concern,
the absent verb dulled on the thimble,
in silence swings from sharp to nimble.
Thin similes defined in symbols,
gelatinous, they stand up, tremble,
are lettuce seed the hearts return.

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Garden Variety Tritina

contemplating mouths,
their coolies, their foehn wind and thorn.
their polite, embroidered nouns sown

through sockets of silence. Sewn
in violaceous threads to burlap; a mouth
with no petaled tongue to harbor thorn.

Lips basted on with a needle‘s fine thorn,
buttons of disk for eyespots are sewn.
Excesses of mauve cross my scarecrow’s looped mouth.

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.

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.