In Time

you wait for me
I imagine glass
the bent harp
wilted notes I hold

by your neck
your sheet music
part of me
you flow through

my words are not
chasms I am bottomless
a pit you didn’t get
to know

though once we stayed out
got matching pigeon tattoos
that’s something no one
no two else do

keep your feathers near
wing the ink trace
the path to fly to
I’m this close this close this close

 

(originally published in Street Light Press, Summer 2017)

Plane Delay

You learn your plane
has been delayed
again.

You remind yourself it has nothing to do
with you. The cause must be
something mechanical– a loose cap or

calibration error. The crew
does not have to say it’s not you,
it’s us because by now you know

the sigh of steel wings, how planes take
a while to ascend anyway.
How insignificant– this delay

stretches hours and a kind
voice speaks through white
noise on the loudspeaker like

she wants to say there is something
we can do to make a difference.
The plane will have the sky when

it is ready. Until then,
do not say it is broken.

 

(originally published in Little Patuxent Review, Winter 2016)

Night Train in Wait

We stare at stars until we feel
the cavalcade of stones shift beneath our shoes.
There is an entropy to the universe.
What melody does the rail hold in her ivories?

Do we listen for an engine to ignite
while we tangle in the grass, in the cold,
in the tremble of tracks? Where else to go?
We tremble, too, waiting

for a song from the vulnerable rail
and her sharp of distance.
If the train will not move I still want
to create landscapes with you

and callous ourselves hurtling
past engine content in her still
into worlds where I become wind,
and you, fire–

with a palm on your cheek,
we’re the mountains,
playas, beaches, moors.
All a blur. A quiver.

 

(originally published in Isthmus, Winter 2016)

Jack

This dog has seen you paint red the walls
and its color fade from sheetrock.

Rest. You walk butterfly wings,
each step a budding stem.

You and Jack love similarly, a dance
of tongue-and-stomp. Long-nailed

paws clomp heartbeats to the closed
door, painted white– a desire panting

for who is on the other side– and he waits,
as you have, on so many nights.

 

(originally published in Heartbeat, Issue 2)