After Forty Years

I’ve never dreamed of flying
Last night my husband
dreamt he was teaching me to fly

He instructed, “Not too high
like Icarus or too low”

Come float with me
We flew over a cornfield
I said, “I’ve always wanted to do this.”

We saw Selu rubbing her belly
planting her own heart so we
would be satisfied.

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Green at the End

The world outside had turned into a forest. She had not been out in weeks and had not known, but she was running out of all food, so she tied a camo tank top over her face and stepped out. It was quiet. She walked down the stairs and outside and into it: tall trees stepping into the sky, moss beginning patchily on the street like an early beard, small red beetles, decaying logs, mud and unknown puddles of water. The supermarket was a hothouse, flowers lining the shelves. There was a purple flower that she thought had risen up from the inside of the earth, exposing the inner, shivery part of earth, the fullest and most muscled part. She held out a hand to pick it but pulled back. She went home again to open all the windows, in case the flowers would grow in themselves, perhaps winding around the radiators, up the walls, the curtain rods, nesting in the cool dank space under the sofa and behind the refrigerator. She locked the door behind her so that they would stay inside, maybe, so the secret would not overflow into other apartments, though it was all over the world. She put her keys in her jacket pocket and left.

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Winter Undertow

Round fire in its tent of sticks shedding chalk and cold
on the edging of my pillow.

So sad. All I can recall is no one to hold me.

After all my skin-chafing labor with the adze, the struggle
to haul your coffin across the river—

cracking and lowing like a barge
in the deep, bleeding furrow
closing in on itself—

your severed arm gone ghostly limp,
flailing like a wave crest along the bank

beneath the claxons of a migrating goose flock
beneath blurrier migrating stars.

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Summer Lusters

I.
Lace things in a hotel room, on a pier.
Your grainy bangs.
Neck, shoulders, pyre-light time of day.
Whisper of ocean in your mouth, the wish for a breathing horizon.

II.
My old capacity
to trust: it was a gift. Speechlessly I waited.
Ideas were ovoid and hostile.

Where was she?

III.
Even now, while you’re far off, I feel you touching me
as in the making.
Moth-like kisses on face and hands
as space opens
where the rapine of waves dispersed the grains.

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Say The Word

today come around to telling me
and I will believe

you say you’re better in email
but a word
is hollowed and lost
blazing through starry cyberfields in the night hours
constellations overflow, echoless
a dipped arrow lands nowhere, pierces no heart
the would-be elixir never encounters the throbbing soul

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A Clandesence of Angels

I live in the lavender gut of a horse, a beating heart just beyond the wall. And beyond that two old ladies sip tea on a white porch in the crabapple South, hoping for something that might squirrel up out of the ground, the age-old ground, the Southern ground, the ground at the top of a hill: a thin line of angels listening all boneless and hospitable from above, managing nothing with their tiny, modest, angel hands, hands that might just as well be days of the week. The long-gone Civil War is wearing a small red-and-gold cap once worn by an organ grinder’s monkey.

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Self Portrait with No Wrinkles

A bowl of just picked tomatoes.
Deep green basil growing in a pot.
Yellow sun on yellow plates.
Showered body in a crisp shirt.
Shiny shoes.
Pants other than sweats.
Cello proficiency.
Window overlooking the sea.
Twelve devilled eggs waiting.
A friend request from Bob Dylan.
Pink vintage rose blooms all year.
No haircut needed.
No dust.
Loved by everyone.
Peak of health.
Rosy future.
No self-deception.

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Before The Move

We are in the floorboards here
I kneel down and lay my hands
On the old barnwood planks
Our first house—big step
Baby steps, first steps, dance steps

The big picture window where
I always beat the sunrise to the sofa
Pink tumbling over a sleeping mountain
A nursing baby at my breast
Another sun another son

We carved our traditions here
The turkeys and the pumpkin pie
The Christmases the Fourths of July
Birthdays, holidays—all holy days
Our rituals rooted in the seasons

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