topography: of an apartment

topography: of an apartment

the sheets are still in the dryer.
I wonder how long they would stay there if
there was no one around to take them out.
my bed looks naked for years, wastes away on her frame, becomes dust. how many times have I died there, closing my eyes and waiting
not to be.
an empty cup of tea with the bag
still inside sits on the dresser.
next to my favorite book— I have to ask
whether its spine would ever crackle like wildfire again
if there was nobody around to pick it up.
how much would stay closed, how much would go cold.
how much would gather this dust.
dishes in the sink,
plants on the sill, waiting to be watered.
succulents can go a long time without, but
the dishes would start to stink.
there is no point.
we will be back here, next week, doing this
same thing. over and
over again.
setting the plants to kiss the faucet, and
washing the faces of plates and
rinsing the throats of glasses, and
sweeping and brushing and
paying and praying and putting away,
just to do it all again the next week. and
for what.
the window opens, curtains fluttering and
it comes clear:
all the plants I have yet to water. all the sheets untucked. the faces
unknown. the books unopened, the tea undrunk.
how much would gather this dust.

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Opportunity

Opportunity

On Martian skies darkness bestows
the end of Sun’s last minute-arc.
I find my battery is low
and outside it’s getting dark.

For fifteen years I did embark
into starlight’s afterglow,
but now Apollo at last departs
and I find my battery is low.

I provided images, film, and audio
about this barren galactic park
to my billion fans below,
but now for me it’s getting dark.

Fear not my dears, look up, take heart;
this present sorrow you will outgrow.
But before I finally depart,
I’ll stay until my battery is low.

I’ve carried all my cargo,
I’ve seen every lovely star,
so mourn not the fading show,
nor pay attention to the dark.

These will be my last remarks:
that I have loved this dusty snow,
ruling as a sole monarch,
despite a battery so low.

And when like me, you’re all alone,
have learned this emptiness by heart,
when you find your battery is low,
and outside it’s getting dark,

recall my hope that you will part,
follow your own divergent road,
and find your own universal spark
even when your battery is low.

My time has come, I’ve made my mark,
now Death’s sweet hand I must follow,
since my software will not restart;
at long last my battery is low,
and outside it’s getting dark.

watching the storm from inside my car

watching the storm from inside my car

gravity moves these stars in ways the ancients could ever have surmised

my eyes latch onto one and track her progress across the plexiglass sky

hoping we will win the race yet blithe accepting absorption by another on our way to paradise

such chaos mere inches away and yet a million miles from this comfort. orchestrated randomness illuminated by the passing glance

of sunlit streetlamps blazing apathy and farewelling any second chance

they lower their heads in thought or sleep undisturbed by the downpour yet startled to life by our softspoken creaks

let shake these old forsaken suns; let crash these minute waves on plastic shores; let run these cosmic rivulets down steel and airbag cheeks!

regardless of this pouring weight’s depth and breadth and height

we drive on through the heedless unpeopled night

topography: of a letter

topography: of a letter

this paper warmed by your hand
inked with your mind,
without a backspace in sight
will sit in my pocket
until the next one.
see this bump, a breach
of papyrus where your
hand slipped, or maybe
the pen deceived you
into thinking she would stay
sweet to the end of the line––
i love that bump, proof
of our humanity.
this little stain here,
on the northwest corner
of the page, what
was that?
water or wine or
tears? your words bleed
a little, curve around it,
petals opening
to the sun.
it smells like you,
leaves and haircut grass,
perfumed distance.
My hand pauses
over the page–– what to
say in the face of that beauty?
How to convey love and
hope and missing
but understanding
in a few words?
I ask about the weather.

topography: of a mattress

topography: of a mattress

see here, this divot on the side closest to the window?
I have watched a hundred thousand phases of the moon
through the blindslats, light cresting over the ridge of
this off-brand Tempurpedic.
the covers here, in the center, never seem warm enough,
a lake in the valley between my legs, hushing
memories into fitful sleep.
two hills rise from the springs,
many-peaked mountain range
where I spread my avalanche hair.
pull that snow blanket overhead,
but hope not to wake in the drift.
rivulets between summit and holler
recall remains of another body,
another mountain range, another
set of lakes and winding paths
now eroded,
fossilized in memory foam.
a discarded bookmark
at the bottom of the canyon between
sill and tossing body
reminds me that I’ve lost my place.

mouche noir

mouche noir

A crescent moon rises over half-lit, just-shut apartment buildings and the

air smells like the fourth of July and cherry blossom litter.

I keep the windows open.

The sky’s a gradient in navy, reaching out

with darkening hands in the lamplight. And

through the widowed weeping willow

I can see Venus for the first time in months so

I keep the windows open.

France in the spring, a fresh cool breeze,

a friend’s hand after a long sorrow, flowers in an

open window.

I know now

why they would rather surrender than

scar this earth.

Couples hold hands on the street and I

keep my window open to watch the sky gather darkness

and see the world gather us all into herself but

the flies bite.

view from my driveway

view from my driveway


See the ridge in the distance, rising
    peaks that touch the dawn.
Green risers in steppes from the base
    prove the diversity of the deceivingly
monotonous greenery,
    betraying deeper wisdom.
How much they must have to teach.


Ancients gaze from their heights,
    not down but out,
daring me to reach,
    to touch their
         burning edges
and endure the sunrise
    without remorse.
How far their eyes must reach.