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.

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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.

Topsy Turvy Sonnet

damn the broken speckled eggs of sorrow
lambs and sheep are counted for tomorrow
harm unfolds and every corners’ ornery
trapped in tattered rags of second stories
charmed until the pansies drooped neglected
snapped balloons deflated dreams deflected
skeins of winter sunlight wheezed and squandered
promises that shattered pieced and pondered
trains of thought to marriage quite contrary
Thomases of doubt reactionary
coroners and caskets flying solo
kettle drums that wanted to be oboes
corridors of numbered doors and angles
settled in complacency’s soft strangle