By hoof and sky

We alternate which livestock to emulate 

depending upon the prevailing wind. 

I am a leaping rhino or a meditating sheep 

whether I look up or down. 

I like to imagine being the woman 

at the well with Jesus because I know 

what being unworthy is all about. 

The parking lot dust reminds me 

of the desert I have never been to. 

I am so thirsty for touch, the sun 

has become a voyeur waiting for the moon 

to pick its moment to show me the way 

to the valley meant for me and mine. 

I just do not know what is mine to keep. 

Time is a lesser concern now as I see 

heat enveloping all our fur, stars, and 

laughter. A few tears remain but only 

because the path from hoof to plan 

is so arduous and exhilarating. 

When we can’t stay in place

I followed the green tendril 

leisurely along the trunk, 

wondering how anything 

can be so beautiful 

in such a horrible world. 

The rocks listened 

as my eyes and hands 

felt my way.

Tumbleweeds

Always on the porch 

looking out but staying in, 

not surprised by metal men 

with gentle lights firmly pressing 

by my shrubs and flowers. 

I do like when wind brushes my hair 

along my face as if someone notices 

I’m standing obediently. 

Dust gets kicked around 

like my heart 

and grasshoppers cavort in ways 

I imagine I would if had days to live. 

My bread is almost ready 

but I want to see where men will go next, 

as if any place is different 

when there is a hole in the middle of us. 

The sound is just a rumble, 

though it might be my blood in my ears 

rushing and pounding like a waterfall 

or maybe a bird taking flight. 

My name is on the leaf 

fluttering to the ground 

with a trick of light 

to mark the syllables. 

It doesn’t matter 

what tree I’m from; 

I’ll find rest where I’m meant, 

shuffled by wind.

Allentown

The city was a Tiffany blue 

faux leather jewelry box 

with a dozen compartments 

filled with faux ballerinas and pearls 

and a little mirror to check earlobes. 

She kept the city in her closet 

to visit whenever she was feeling 

cosmopolitan. 

The sidewalk hummed a tune from 1954 

(when eyeglasses and bras 

pointed the way to quick ruin). 

Decades rumbled from beneath 

layers of paved crosswalks 

-like Poe’s telltale highway, 

but the road craved a Greyhound, 

not retribution. 

A porter longed to punch a ticket 

– but there was no train. 

A woman was too busy 

to notice rain on a scurrying rat’s tail. 

The case would be shut yet unlocked 

as she imagined people inside 

running in circles but slowly, 

like licking away at a lollipop.