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Death

Seasons flash by in giddy haste

Minutes coalesce into years and the grave awaits

But patience is its bedfellow

For an end comes to all and certainty is laughing

What tears may fall for wasted fervor

What hands may wring for that which passed by

I died today as sure as I will some time hereafter

And it crumpled my strength as a paper crane under peak hour haste

Funny thing dying, the emptiness at its core holds peace

Yet it is a quiet fear, calming and cold

If this is true deaths substance

Let it come.

It can bear me no greater sorrow than

Life as it unfolds in my hands this day

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Epitaph

Bones ache as love fails

Brittle, malnourished, fading

Light turns night. A grave

 

 

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To Hell and back

Creaks and groans from tired, unwilling bones

Threatening mutiny under the weight of recent ill

They have had their fill

I have too

It would be shortsighted to blame you

I pass no condemnation to any

When shoulders can bear a load as they must

I have spit and I have cussed

Though, no venom for your ears

All crimson disappears and I find my heart swelling once more

For the one I adore, the one I will wade

Into Stygian depths for

If it is asked of me, you see.......

I love you eternally

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theoretically incorrect.

Slowly transmigrating 
from

this form : from this form : from this

into the          notional;
becoming little more than theory

you are odiously attempting
to disprove // rebut // to yourself.

Beleaguered by your voice: 
your voice in your words
your voice on my name
your voice -

I am roaming around the
                                e-d-g-e-s

of

[am I seeing you 
or am I only seeing what you 
want me to see?]

[sic]

[am I another question 
or are you attempting to 
answer me?]

answer me.

The indubitable truth about this
exiguous odyssey is this,

I am no 
et cetera, et cetera, et cetera

I am an impulse,

but clearly only in theory.

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Things that turn me on

brown eyes, thick

lips, buzzed chest,

 

perky butts, romantic

kissing, cuddling during

 

rainstorms, intelligent

conversations, smores

 

and firepits, mystery,

playing hard to get,

 

drive, compression shorts

on treadmills and lifting

 

weights, a good pair

of jeans, tight shirts

 

smiles, white teeth

dimples, jaw lines,

 

awkward hands, scars,

briefs, muscle thighs,

 

kisses on the neck,

stomachs for pillows,

 

reading, tattoos, motorcycle

jackets, suits, and bowties

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Between the Covers

Find me…

a book with covers that warm like blankets
of snow - drifting through non-fictional towns -
where glowing streetlamps light the dust - dancing
between the shelves of old books - in a shop
that doesn’t sell coffee - only stories -
rare handwritten autobiographies -
telling the secrets of these dreams - slowly
turning through the pages of history -
reaching a conclusion - where I am warm -  
between the covers of your mystery.

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Anthrópinos Biblio

You were the novel I had 
somewhere on my book shelf
(i never read you)  

the one I wanted my arms
to wrap around some day.
(I never held you) 

I wanted to feel the weight 
of your spine
(how heavy was your cross?) 

to let your words 
send shivers 
down mine.
(tell me how hard you fought.) 

I wanted to see how 
your sleeve 
caught the sun’s rays
(I didn't see you at all) 

in a hot-as-an-oven July,
on a warm-as-ever August day.

I wanted to crash 
into your world,
and crawl beneath its sky.
(I should have) 

Oh but how I hate spoilers,
don’t we all?

I hate them.

I hated the finding out;
(life cheats us all)  

I hated the shapes my mouth made.

Saturdays hurt now.

October smarts my tongue,
it’s too cold.

I was told 
that you were
(too cold) 

because
like oral tradition,
your 
circulation
stopped

Fuck ‘the end’ and 
all the ‘never agains’
I will always 
love y—

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transmogrification.

curating consolation in heaving breaths
  between your whiskey lips
                 your honest kiss
the cigarette you used to light the fire
somewhere in my soul

           - - light - -

flick – flick – flickering

we are not hoping on the ochre metamorphosis
of sunshine into the extortion of black stars 
and                       “daydreams”

we are

forgetting, forgetting, forgetting ? something ?

between the sharp inhales of poetry & 
the swallowing of deeply satisfying literature

we are

remembering bronzes of falls we took 
to win the gold,

the gold ensconced in an impressionistic age
of flaming grooves – groovy yeah?

this rose by this name tastes sweet on the
smooth fissures of your lips

            those doggone lips

thorning = thorny

your name on my mind rattling like bottles 
Glenfiddich:

hissing towards euphoric propulsions
handcuffing an elated Narada;

you are the crackling music of the fire
inside my breathless whisper

beg…beg…begging

come closer!

fill me with your whiskey breath 
your nicotined lines -

light me : : burn me : : extinguish me

rain over me until I become a map 
of places your hands have been.

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Dirty Flannel Collar

I am ten years old.

It is spring.

The grass has begun its transformation

from brown to green.

I am getting out of school.

I walk six blocks home alone,

creating stories of moving away,

being asked to join a boy band,

my mother getting transferred,

my father getting a real job.

There is a box of clothes on our porch.

There is no note.

I know who left it.

I drag the box inside.

It’s the first warm day since snow,

mom won’t be home for an hour,

I want to be outside, in a tree,

living someone else’s life,

but I stay inside until mom gets home.

I follow the rules.

Jake is supposed to watch me,

Who knows where he is,

Micah drops off his book bag,

Heads to the park,

He does not invite me.

When mom gets home I tell her about the box,

Run to the park and climb my favorite tree

the one that defines the makeshift end zone.

I imagine it is my home.

I am no longer a boy,

But have mutated into a tree person.

I cook and clean our branches,

polish the leaves,

raise the seed’s,

until my tree husband comes home

and he makes love to me like a redwood,

sturdy and strong.

I hear moms whistle,

jump from the tree and race my brothers home.

The box of clothes sits in our sunroom all summer,

while I am driving from field to field

moving water so my father can grow money.

I swim every day,

My skin has turned a deep brown.

I am surprised at how white my thighs are.

Tornados break the monotony of farming.

My brothers wash the boat.

My mother packs the food.

We take the camper to the lake.

My dad skis.

I watch him fall

I build sandcastles, swim with the fish,

and run around in my life jacket.

I am happy here.

Before school starts

We make one final trip.

Mom hates school shopping.

We buy only what we need.

I am limited to one pair of shoes

that will be worn during P.E.

I will wear Jake’s P.E. shoes from last year.

Micah will wear mine.

Noah will wear Micah’s.

When we get home,

we sit down and go through

the boxes of clothing

that have accumulated in our house.

They have started to overwhelm mom.

The boxes are sorted between the four of us.

Pants we don’t have a choice;

if they fit, we wear them,

no matter the condition.

But I get to choose the shirts.

The rejects become rags on the farm.

I take the stack of clothes to my bedroom,

carefully place my new wardrobe in my dresser

like it’s a collection of hope diamonds.

I am fifteen years old.

I have held my own job for three months.

I am in Old Navy.

I purchase my first brand new t-shirt.

It is blue, I wear it til the thread

in the seams break and the sleeves fall off.

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The Homecoming

I stood beneath the sky,
reached above, and clapped my hands twice,
“okay, chop-chop…
your vacation is over,
time to come home now!”

so the sky opened its mouth,
but the only thing to ever come out
(to touch the Earth again)
was the blanket of snow,
the airplane in Moscow,
a small piece of shrapnel,
the skydiver in Nashville,
raindrops from the window-sill,
cigarette butts in the landfill,
a winter storm’s icicle
a grieving mother’s feet
for the first time
in twenty seven weeks.

you left too early
for your vacation

but maybe it was for
a homecoming.