Ramekin

 

Ramekin

I speak when you speak,
say nothing to your everything.

The world is a ramekin filled with bits of ourselves.

It is a recipe for error,
a list of adorations and illusion.
You take my hand and say when I’m gone
there will be others.

The ingredients include vinegar and salt, but no honey.

You hear what I hear, only more.
Teach me to breathe.

Empty this dish.

Tell me.

 

 

“Ramekin” was first published in the online anthology Igxante: An Ontology. I am grateful to editor Kate Morgan for taking this piece.

Two Poems Up at Recenter Press

 

My poems “Fossil Egg” and “Cyclops” are live at Recenter Press, a publisher “dedicated to sharing work that is grounded in both the spiritual and the material.” Many thanks to the editors for taking these pieces.

 

 

 

Gruyere

 

Gruyere

Thinking of speech and the gruyere sliver
balancing on that blade, which nouns push it over,
which hold it in place. How simplicity defies the complex.
Like the hard-crusted bread of flour, water, salt and yeast.
The elemental surge. A little steam. An incantation
born of emptiness: he speaks but says nothing
as the cheese teeters on the edge, suffering
the plight of the incomprehensible. Funny
that adding more reduces the whole, and less
flavors it. A few words, a spice. A syllable.
Milk and rennet. Verbs. A confident tongue.

 

“Gruyere” was published in Nthanda Review, an online literary magazine out of Mawali, in January 2019.

 

 

 

When Shadows Hide

  

When Shadows Hide

I breathe when you breathe,
and watching me,
you capture each lost molecule.

This book blinks whenever you turn the page.
I see you between the words, between the white threads.

You are the adored chapter, the one I read in bed before
sleep, and after I wake, before the first wren announces
dawn, then in the afternoon’s highest point, when shadows hide,
and later, as they emerge to stroke your bare shoulder.

What’s on the other side, you ask. What do you hear?

Your breath, I say. Your name.

 

“When Shadows Hide” was first published in the print anthology Epiphanies and Late Realizations of Love in February 2019.

 

The Trains I Know

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The Trains I Know

The trains I know
seek solitude
in darkness,

they wear
wind and cold
with pride,

are never
lonely.
Sometimes they

sing too loud,
or mourn
harshly a

star’s fall, but
they never
deny their

purpose: to
draw between
and connect,

to witness and
serve, to bear
and endure

our unsought
burdens
to the end.

 

* * *

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“The Trains I Know” was first published in RiverLit in 2013.

Confession to Montgomery, Asleep on the Church Steps

bagels and cream cheese MGD©

 

Confession to Montgomery, Asleep on the Church Steps

If I walk quietly by
it is not to avoid disturbing you,

but rather myself. What
could I give you

but another bagel, the
boiled dough of nothingness

rising in cloudy water,
delaying, perhaps, another

guilty twinge. You have no
answers but when you

speak to the air, sometimes
a smile creaks through

the broken words, and I
think even in this cloistered

darkness we may close
the circle between halves

and might-have-beens,
an understanding, if only

in the language of bread
and coffee and the

disregarded. But today I stride
on, without pause, counting

on nothing that can’t be
pocketed or spoken aloud,

my steps echoing down
the alley and its secrets,

along the crosswalk’s painted
guides, under the sagging

power lines and through
your streetlight’s dim halo.

 

Homeless

 

This first appeared on the blog in January 2016, and was published in Compassion Anthology in March 2019. I have not seen the man who inspired this poem in over two years. I hope he has found shelter and kindness.

 

February 6, 2018

  

February 6, 2018

Today every song is a diary of lost dates,
moments cured in precision

and stowed away on a train to the next town,
always yearning the beyond, around that precious bend.

Or, a funeral for tomorrow, processing the improbable
present. Lights, flickering. The starling’s first peep.

All urgency dies. Outside, leaves float in the fog
as I drive away to a finite point.

Now, a whistle mourns the day’s broken
surge; never having said goodbye, you move on.

 

* * *

“February 6, 2018” was published in the North Dakota Quarterly in February 2019.