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,
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.


Boxed in the Ring Sonnet

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.


Mayfly Sonnet

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
patiently through
the clouds this evening.

It is not so strange
for me to cast
my bad luck
to an Autumn wind
already full
of brittle leaves.


Digesting Gravity

We frittered our conversation away
on the brittle edges of selective
vocabulary. Words, pale and objective,
hung like sheets over clan members,
hovered foamy on the pushed tide
of pretense and squatters rights.

Familiarity was the carcass
of a wooly mammoth
we were stepping gingerly over
with verbs and run-on sentences.

In this public place, where once
we had whispered over flapjacks,
flirted around a breakfast scramble,
we met in a back booth
to discuss the terms
of our convenient disentanglement
above a final waffle
dusted with powdered sugar.

Some maple syrup got stuck on the
edges of papers we were so civilly editing
and for a moment we slipped
on the softened ice of easy banter.

Just then, gravity
forgot itself in the small café.
All of the cups and saucers
lifted with the silverware,
the apron on a waitress
floated up a bit…

Whipped egg whites of reconsideration
appealed with a weightlessness,
but the side of regret
was inedible.