A Step Closer

 

A Step Closer

The difference in here
and there, a step closer to infinity
swallowing the clover and wild onion.

Not knowing, you shift purpose to intent.

Following the sun,
the flower sips light all day,
pausing only when I walk between.

 

 

“A Step Closer” was published in Sleet Magazine in August 2018. I am grateful to editor Susan Solomon for taking this piece.

 

Recording of “My Mother’s Ghost Sits Next to Me at the Hotel Bar”

 

 

“My Mother’s Ghost Sits Next to Me at the Hotel Bar” was first published in The Lake in December 2018.

 

Mother’s Day (with recording)

Mother’s Day

The dog is my shadow and I fear his loss. My loss.
I cook for him daily, in hope of retaining him.

Each regret is a thread woven around the oak’s branches.
Each day lived is one less to live.

Soon the rabbits will be safe, and the squirrels.
As if they were not. One morning

I’ll greet an empty space and walk alone,
toss the ball into the yard, where it will remain.

It is Mother’s Day.
Why did I not weep at my mother’s grave?

I unravel the threads and place them around the dog.
The wind carries them aloft.

“Mother’s Day” was published in The Lake in July 2016, and last appeared here in May 2018.

In the Place of Cold Doors

cold doors


In the Place of Cold Doors

We have a word for everything,
or seven for nothing. Soon

you’ll enter and I’ll talk
on the other side,

watch for signs in every
dropped crumb,

every nailhead and
embedded phrase remembered

in another’s voice. The light
will dim and I’ll look for rain and

go on speaking. My words will wander
unnoticed. You hear only yesterday.

 

 

“In the Place of Cold Doors” first appeared in Gossamer: An Anthology of Contemporary World Poetry, published by Kindle Magazine in Kolkata, India. I was thrilled to have several poems included in the anthology.

 

nailhead

 

Ghazal of the Half

 

Ghazal of the Half  

Singing virtues, she swings to the east, claims half,
accepts what’s given, smiles, nods, names half.

What stone lies unturned in this bluest of graves?
Where love’s darkest lancet intrudes, inflames half.

The beauty of intercession and the divided become
one. Pushing them into two piles, she blames half.

Incomplete, I ride the lost memory’s pale vein,
as the motion of capture, of trickling, maims half.

You read the history of driftwood in its scars.
“Never whole. Always,” she exclaims, “half.”

My other name is a hill in a windstorm of sleep.
Forever apart and uneven, just the surname’s half.

 

“Ghazal of the Half” first appeared in Manzano Mountain Review in November, 2018. Many thanks to editors Justin Bendell and Kristian Macaron for taking this piece.

 

Transduced Ruin

desolate

 

Transduced Ruin

From bad to worse.
The hospital’s walls, shredded.

A turning back, the retrieval.
Frayed edges, unraveling, pulled down.

Conveyance and change, or, conversion.
Tying the knot, I think of home.

Things fallen apart.
She stands alone under the sky’s umbrella.

“Destroy infrastructure, destroy livelihood. Destroy.
Water leaking from the cistern’s wounds.

Wind to voltage; passive to active.
My church is the sky, the earth below, and everything between.

The center of one, of two.
Rounds, piercing armor.

A spiritual hole, leakage.
“It was easier to view them as targets, not human.”

Sequences: from water to ice, to vapor and back again.
I will surrender to flame and be scattered.

Firewing, starbolt, tearmaker.
Guided from afar, they sense but cannot feel.

Recursive death.
Counting graves, he considers relief.

The road to everywhere.
Looking back, I discover that I had already arrived.

 

* * *

I’d forgotten about “Transduced Ruin,” which was written during the August 2016 Tupelo Press 30/30 Project, a fundraiser for the non-profit literary publisher, Tupelo Press. I am grateful to Atomic Geography, who sponsored the poem and provided the title and these three words: spiritual, sequences, things.