The Sitting

The portrait was flat, with dimensions
spreading thinly across the canvas.
Her breasts looked like a splayed palm,
with fingers and fist cursing gravity –
all in tones of blue.
Her face looked like a sucker punch.
But with a hint of twinkle, like the one
she must have had as a girl,
before the rancid whiff of regret
piled up in the corners of her mouth.
Her hair was a silver lining
and her grin was skeletal yet endearing.
He caught her looking just beyond him,
where the hills were green and the sun
was a perfect circle
and birds made the light dance in her eyes.
She waited for him to say, “I see you! I do!”

Brave front passing through

Dreams are currently crammed
in small spaces along with
tiny joys of
finding adequate shoes over lunch break,
having figures balance happily
like little birds on a wire in spring,
and inhaling whatever is in the air
on a twinkling December afternoon.
I bemoan my choices, my genetics,
and a wildly energetic imagination
that often keeps me out of the
moment,
but some afternoons,
like this one,
I’m not worried or afraid.
Maybe there’s no room for fear.

Monday is wet leaves moaning
beneath my feet,
the pressure of too many moonless nights
falling on morning.

A solitary bird’s lament hovers
in a muffled fog.
A sad little light struggles
to pierce the gloom.

(Fallen) Angel

The day starts mid-thought
with a sharp barb I cannot reach
piercing somewhere on my back,
a spot that moves like an itch
and though I rub and rub
along every metaphorical fence post
I come across, the irksome pain lingers.

I don’t look for labels, though I suspect
it’s a form of fear, longing, and regret
mixed in a brine causing me to wake
in a melancholy stew.

My dreams are of flight.
I mostly fall in REM sleep.
Awake, I trip a lot
and look to the skies
in long and aimless daydreams.

Always, the phantom pain on my back
pushes me forward.
Maybe an angel watches.

Corner booth

I’ve never shared a milkshake
with two straws, each of us lovingly
slurping sweet froth
while spewing bits of backwash
as we gaze into each other’s irises,
but I’ve felt time slow down
when stars align and a slight shift
of the earth beneath my feet
when I realize the simplicity
of love and milk and kindness.