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.
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
to touch one another.
What are words,
frozen roses caught
round a face;
There were birds this morning,
as though the weakened winter sneezed.
The great dial of clicking days
Trees pimple too soon
for the calendar,
in their waxy hollows.
Waiting for the train,
we wearily shoulder
are pipe-cleaner figures
with overdressed gestures.
The city slides by,
through the late March
My eyes are full
of tortoise shell,
the pomegranate crowds,
searching every face
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,
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,
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.
The knockout was delivered Christmas day;
a brawl was done that passed just like a dream.
Your final bout had ended up this way:
against the ropes and losing all your steam.
Though facing your opponent toe to toe,
the sucker-punch already had been thrown.
You found yourself down fallen, like the snow;
a ten-count wouldn’t stop or be postponed.
Your gloves came off when fighting this last round.
The winter cancer boxed you in the ring
and grew so fast, despite the frozen ground.
Those pounds you lost left featherweight to swing.
Some boxers are considered tough and brave,
but you swung lionhearted at a grave.
Now trees don’t cast their shade, it follows me
and yellows light to fenced anemic hue.
The crooning brook, a dull menagerie:
discordant scales or fish beneath that blue
once fasinated me. Instead, I look
away and focus carefully on dim
horizons, leave the mayfly on the hook,
descending, dive for shadowed cool to swim.
Though still I wonder, what of paths untried;
the splash that I’ve kept thirsty in a dream.
The angled light viewed from the other side,
those might-have-beens that never may be seen.
A transient color stalks the fragile hour,
then quietly it occupies each flower.
The moon is a fisheye
peering through a rosebush puzzle.
I had never considered
looking for you up there.
I still have a few roses
and it is late October;
it doesn’t seem odd
to see your eye falling
the clouds this evening.
It is not so strange
for me to cast
my bad luck
to an Autumn wind
of brittle leaves.