Rhythms

My rhythms are off.
I sleep through the day,
and daydream at dusk.

In my room I can only see a little of
the morning glories fading
into their purple beds,
dreaming while little bugs
sleep inside them.

If I was a little bug,
I’d nibble on your petals,
and doze in your pollen.
And when your leaves opened at dawn,
we’d watch the sunrise together.

The needful

If you have a couch or a fever
stay seated
we will bring your sammich to you

The crows with misphonia
have taken their nuts across the street
to escape the sound of others chewing

If you have a cough and a bloomer
I’ll come get the flowers from you
You have many ghosts to fight
before you leave Saturn

Collared-doves are annoyed
as per the usual
or below
do the needful

single birds

There’s no time for you now.

Listen to the dove on the wire,
its loneliness rests on a single note.

Illuminated, the hummingbird greets the salvia in the searing heat.
What wisdom can you share, when there’s no one at the end of your call?

Call anyway. As long as there are blossoms
and the dog’s bowl, someone will hear your beckon,
the tiny bit of hope in the chimes
by the glossy privet.

Dusty and hot, you drink from water no one can see.
Call me, back to the shade, just where the wren was,
but we won’t see her ’til morn.

Remembering Brian

You had beautiful handwriting,
and that’s what I choose to remember about you,
if this is remembering you.

I will remember not remembering sitting
on your lap on a hot day.
Me, tiny, shirtless, in a diaper.
You made sure I didn’t become a swimmer just yet,
your nameless friend next to you in the picture.

I will forget remembering when mom took to me to prison to see you, and you had made me a beautiful purse with a fish on it. I remember I no longer have that purse, because I am no longer the name you put on it.

I remember you sent me a card thanking me for the money I know was for drugs. And I’ll try to forget I paid for your death, and that I never got to say goodbye at the river, where the fishes swim among your ashes, next to the quickness of our lives.

And I’ll see, today, my poor handwriting, and know that letters were your one, beautiful gift.

Wanderer (C. Glover)

We sent Jimmy for you, for just a second.
We sent Jimmy for you all.

Flash. Headphones walking away. Flash. Hastily
baggy pants. Tracks. Flash.
The conductor. Flash. Just the second of the rest.

You stank. New bike, dismantled. Then you’d get it together.
ZZ Top dreams, a committed beard, and knees in-out-in-out. And not only when you felt one of your sisters watching.

Just a second!

Ted K. hair, Irish red beard. Yeah, that’s him. I know him as Misunderstood. Wow,
that’s a lot of blood.

Yeah, Mister Understood. I knew him as a child. He did something to me that wasn’t quite …right. Within seconds.

Transgressions forgiven. Eldest said “we all get a pass.”

Jimmy was only there for a second, to identify my brother.
Then we sent him for the rest.

1990, 1994, 2002, 2019









2 After (Part I) – Red Death

You and I, we stood opposite
and opposites, on each side of the river filled with wilting roses.

Been a long time since we’ve seen their eyes,
swift the robin with sad emeralds and thick hips.

Get off the ground, use those thighs like the trunks of a wooden sword,
cuz the coal man is here to take your life with a shotgun, RISE! and

rose in the barrel

so.
many.
petals.

Born of fire, 2 before, V and S dyed you red. Here, pass the torch.
As you died, dried red, the dead sea that once held your jewels
now sees nothing.

Look away, big life, as your rotting limbs cling to the cliff,
nails like teeth roots. Clamping, clamping.
Give us a slight smile.

Rest, beauty. The little dog will find you soon,
…but you will never go home.


Where the wildflowers are

A lady bit a face into a leaf
when the wildflowers were asleep

The face a plate of shock and horror
at what the world had become

The top of the face, a pumpkin’s
handle, eyes to the sky

green cataracts
carved into a scream

When the flowers woke
they didn’t understand who was among them
and they could not escape

A turkey vulture flew overhead
silent soaring
eyes on the dead
who stood paralyzed
on the verge of a thing

About that house

I am clutching my favorite book
and the devil knocks. She’s fat and grey and cross-eyed.

At least consumptive devil I know, in her room, flat ass, wetting her pants as she sleeps. Why did you make me hate this house? It was the prettiest of all 18.

No sleep for me, just a forgetting and a morning re-read. In the book, the venison sounds amazing, but I wouldn’t know. Later, I would know chops and applesauce, but tonight I swallow fear.

Fear for the things I never did.

Fear for the things I would never do.

Fear from emerging from a traumatized womb, where a dick filled with heroin and a 12-pack were the perfect paring for the perfect empath. Physiologically and psychologically magnificent, and

ready to question the world.

Clutching Laura Ingalls

Fearless isn’t thoughtless
wild and precious
it’s a chaotic calculation
keep going
step through the river, so clear
and cold, so inviting but
deadly, who is below at
your toes, your ankles?
life’s piranhas lingering there
wanting for you to drown,
to sleep in that one piece,
blue, folded legs like a smooth
labia, yes I said it mother,
I see you watching me, thinking
I’m untamed and sit on rounded

heels and and you’d be right will you
throw me in the
lake again, this time harder,
with more force, your shoulders
barely buckling, oh mother, you
gave me wings, but kept me
clipped, scaled, a good swimmer
and the lizard in me wanted
to stay below deck, clutching
a wet Laura Ingalls, begging
you to leave me be; sweep the
angels, kill the angel, let the
angel leave, rocks in pockets
below the float buoyed by hope,
always buoyed by hope

Fade

not like my dream, where I’m standing in flowers.

instead, my field was peppered with peppers, little legs, bloody red, crawling
up mine as I watched
daisies from afar, against a little house,

you outside, red-head, can’t hold too tight to that.

red is fading now
back to bed
fade to pepper
fade to flowers

fade