Scratched in dirt

Landlocked with marimba

steel and flute and pearled knees

praying to waves answering to moon

salted air trapped in hands and hair

facing one direction

without relief of distraction

Years are melting things

stuck together making little sense

backward gazing tripping over feet

humming the song of giving in

and away and up with no end to the roll

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In the sweet grass

I just called myself a tuba and no one noticed.

It’s like when I had to dodge all the groundhog holes

while the craggy man sprayed poison

all over the sweet grass.

That moment of fear and longing led to a rich disgust

when I realized that’s how the world worked;

toot yer horn and be tossed with the weeds.

Message received

I took away mercy

from the lineup

and left a gap

only for myself.

Fireflies, Lost

All the Rorschach dancers

move sideways across the page

and I’m helpless to keep still, as I

shimmy with my demons.

Sequined corn fields serve as the ballroom.

Nothing travels the world, she whispered.

Not birds or ships or whales or butterflies,

though we’re taught to believe otherwise.

Flight only removes us temporarily.

Old women now give birth

and children rule lost islands.

We’re all lost and it’s sort of beautiful.

Hide your love away

There’s no sense to be made of the wavy

pattern of the laundry basket yet

I can’t turn away from counting the spaces;

I tried singing

but you didn’t hear me

and as the traitorous curtains part for

the sliver of sun that wants to brand me,

I scramble to hide.