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. 

Soaring

A quiet afternoon, 

sun streaming 

sideways through dark 

curtains, leaves 

rustling, faded nearby. 

Capturing light 

and moving it along 

in the shape of 

skin and latitude, 

it’s a simple “touch me”

 written in code 

on moth’s wings. 

Before and after, 

a plaintive call 

to find a place inside someone 

to hold and be held. 

The birds don’t question heights 

or currents when they fly. 

Bravado is letting go; 

we are both dark 

and heavy on our own.

Anthracite Dreaming

The green hill shone

in the summer sun

as the lone island

among coal banks

and pines.

We danced

like lightning bugs.

It was sweltering

beneath the unforgiving sky

and the day was so full

of heat and dust;

relief came only

in dreams.