The shape of history

The body I was in was called golden

with edges like driftwood,

smelling of caramel corn and sun,

looking like a shaggy butterfly

with a shaky wing.

I’ve stayed ragged

but processed and contained

like a koosh ball in a bubble gum machine.

My doctor had an old bag

and long beard. He was an impressionist

with a free-form modern sensibility

which made me feel like floating

in a murky pond

afraid of the depths, craving flight.

I sputter when I leave the hills, bits of

color left behind like a jet’s echo.

The shape of history

is a pile of love robed in stark beauty,

long grasses, and a touch of grief.

We become bakers or birds.

righty-tighty

today is the future come loose,

a stripped gear in a billowing field

above or below (irrelevant)

with enough steam,

propelled to work faster yet darker

through tunnels made of spent youth

foraging on evolving ferns

abundant even in an apocalypse

laughter carried away on smoke

there’s so much we leave

unfinished

without a way to stop

time or the will to hold

back the torrents

that wear us down

like boulders beneath rapids

or sand along the coast

there are pockets

of calm inside us awaiting

the touch of sunlight or

kind words or the surprise of flight

if we can hold on

long enough

The pocket for dreams

My body is building defenses

against dark things with layers

upon layers of alternate timelines

where sometimes the heart beats

swimmingly and sometimes it beats

sluggishly – or skips altogether –

and the nerve endings feel like

they’ve been filed down to bare nubs

and my head keeps growing

from the inside, heavy with knowing less

but seeing more and there’s a small space

in reserve for dreams that gets pushed

this way and that but I hold firm

to the one thing I won’t lose.

no peace

music ricochets off the stone wall 

thumping like mathematics on the playground 

smoke peeks through her hair 

finding no solace 

among far too many lonely afternoons 

roads wait to be paved 

old men wait for the news 

dogs circle their favorite spots 

the kid still thinks there’s a future 

but his mom is tired 

and the shadows have grown long 

there’s still tomorrow for now 

and if we’re lucky 

we’re dancing on the inside