It was summer and night in this city in the desert
and though the heat of the day had diminished
it lingered long, humid on our skin
as we lay on the grass and watched a hundred stars fall.
Crippled sun lying low,
hugging tops of trees…
Churning through the first rough grind,
the slurry of coarse grit and violent impact
tearing sharp edges from rough stones.
Following the exercise in a poetry book
I divided my page with a vertical line
labeled one column love and the other hate
and filled each list with my scribbled passions
Pressed hip to my hip on the bench seat of my granddad’s GMC pickup. It handles better in the snow. Anyway my Pinto’s busted. When I told Don about the broken shock on the Pinto, he pinned me, hand to my throat, against the kitchen cabinets, and Mom screamed his name, and I went to live with my grandparents in their creaking floor house.Read More
Three point one four one five nine two six and
that’s as many places as I’ve ever known.
Because what’s the point of memorizing cold numbers?
However long, they will never touch you where you stand
apart from me, always in sight, just out of reach.
The poet leans into the microphone, begs to be heard over the bawling blues on the scratchy speakers from the Jamaican barbecue food truck, can’t turn the music down or sales might sag. A cinnamon-skinned woman calls out the orders as the food comes out.Read More
Cool air whispers
up from the river
Cottonwood leaves lit from
below by lamplight,
shimmering silver against a
storm-wracked sea of stars
I taste your fear,
bitter on my tongue.
The choking aroma of
linseed constricts my throat,
stifles my guttural sobs,
can’t cough away the thick
blue gunpowder smoke.
We are too young to know how to do this.
I’ve read a book I found in the city library.
We have acquired the vocabulary.
We sit on the edge of your bed, fasten one another’s eyes,
say the words for what we will do.