Out of my shell

I was floating

in the hall between stone arches

with the desert nearby.

I couldn’t tell anyone

how full of verdant growth I was

because moss was muzzling me

and I couldn’t find my way

because the canopy shielded me

from harsh direction of the sun.

People were fighting and loving

in the doorway but I floated, timelessly;

my own sea was grace

in an ocean of torment.

One messy palette

Walking encumbered with heavy blues

seems less shitty when viewed from above

-like from an artist’s loft

with his medley of yellows and greens

It probably looks like a blooming flower

or unfurling fern or maybe

a Busby Berkeley number on a busy day

But here at the level of purgatory

there’s a sponsor for every malady,

pockets of alone in every crowd,

bird jazz on the windshield,

and a crazy notion of love healing all.

Sunset is a red fuming cry of frustration;

the bloom is what’s left on the palette.

She was shaped like a kite

Knowing she was there, breathing in

every word he pulled together

like kite strings in a bouquet of flight

made him feel both larger than life

and also corralled by chicken wire.

There was no measuring up

or out or over, or need to justify anything,

but part of him craved her arms

or at least her approval,

even if just a nod from 1,000 miles away.

Nine years, five years, twenty,

more/less… I can point to some mark

on my body or better, recall how

a particular phrase ruined/saved me.

But tonight is a lonely bucket,

with great angst staring at the floor

while a supermoon blazes

for someone else.

It’s pink. I’m blue.

A poet once asked, “How are you?”

I feel compelled to answer.

No spark

Tomorrow’s wishes

lie at the bottom of a fountain

that’s not been turned on

so nobody pays attention.

The bird atop is frozen, mid-squawk,

awaiting a liftoff that will never come.

Embers keep the feet shuffling

when the air is still, quiet

and the pain is tolerable,

the fatigue growing near.

Counting steps or minutes is a waste

as is describing fire as it goes out.