Dreaming of Tuesday’s
parties, glorious rippling
colors, all manner of
food and gaiety, strangers with
strange stories, big ridiculous hats,
cacophony of singing,
and drunkenness, lots of it
spinning, hours disappearing
under the weight of the night
and slow dancing whispers,
all versions of us
unwilling to believe in a
Over lunch, a mantis settled for my Stella de Oro day lilies in the
blazing west sun on my roof deck in Baltimore. A capricious whim,
or calculated move – its motivation irrelevant. To the immediate south,
basil sage perfume, and wild-eyed purple petunia. Air conditioners
hummed mildly for the mantis on a deepening yellow bloom and
just as motionless as a cat perched two roofs away. I watched, captivated.
I willed the insect to move. Electricity rushed the wires. A car door closed.
Wind rustled pollen loose as a police helicopter
charged us to the east. Not one spindly leg twitched. I looked up.
– a liminal space, a sudden tumblingwhirring cacophony of
and good blocks
and protection, and
bad blocks and
and grief and so much grief –
Then looked down. Mantis had moved while the rotor blades roared.
It perched upside down mindful, head bowed,
tiny insect arms set in prayer. Steady as the sirens followed
like clockwork. Steady as we thought of our neighbors, knowing not a single one.
Time and its relativity are clear now.
The animals and I keep a same schedule, and like them,
I believe I still matter. Hours are meaningful
Although they carry no cash.
Instead of colleagues, I converse with a cold front.
Clouds dash by at a pace I
Don’t know. Underneath, fears lap like
a flooding creek. I let them go;
tossing pieces of grass with gravity.
Time is stretched by gratitude.
I no longer rush. Let’s throw a ball
for the dog. I choose my adventures and
look up when I like.
There is space to expand and contract. To be.
We are now our own universe.
Tomorrow, a concept, just out of reach.
winds rattle in their Song
glory to themselves
basking in their chill, their roar,
their natural state
of movement —
We- the page- the vessel
the form that gives
the winds their form
as they move
Songs of them-selves.
you fearsome friend,
always with the
“move, keep moving”
This man i passed in his street level window
in his old-man blue and white striped underpants
plays guitar to sheet music propped up by useless
paper stacks. In my world flowers overstay their welcome
and die, casually, a little bit every day
and i swim among the petals, like beautiful regrets,
among the art and the lies …
but the potential is there
like the smell of garlic wafting from an overcrowded
kitchen pot … this man finds a chord, i hear it from
a mile away and cry.
Drop leaves Faucet
slyly looking both ways
like a prisoner in a daring escape,
takes a breath
free falling bliss
to desperate reconsideration
wind pulls delicate skin
and all is quiet
Drop shatters into
a million shining sparks on a stainless steel
Transforms into something infinitely soft.
Take one last look, Drop, at a cold grey world and
drain toward something
the first time i slept with him,
that sleep unafraid, mouth open,
not worried about drool or how my
cheeks fold and stack unattractive, i
felt like i had stepped out of
my skin, unzipped, truly naked
for the first time, thinking you’ve
never seen me before until now, you’ve
never realized how i would
lie awake waiting until your breath
cascaded slower, until your own
mouth fell aside, your soft snore my
signal: all clear to close your eyes.
in the dark spaces
i went looking for the smoke.
Thought i glimpsed it
around the dust gathering on the third stair,
followed it past open windows,
chased it through the kitchen, a hallway
filled with secret light,
i went searching high,
low, i found nothing.
Felt my way in the early dark to the deck to see a
skyline city far away, no avail. Went looking to the east
and there! I saw a ghost of myself
jumping free into dense air,
she seemed convinced of one thing.
i exist differently. i am
the breath between
breaths, the gap. a golden hue
between day and night, your
pause between no and yes, i am
a living rift.
i see a girl at a crowded deck party.
she says “look, that girl is all alone” and
i am both
proclaimer and vision.
Man in boat, alone with book,
Sighs mightily. Looks skyward.
Mallards, in pairs, sail close,
Circling for bread, expectant.
Clouds above, seek resolve, then
Resoundingly, give their load a rest.
Humble water leaps, so tickled, and
Time, meanwhile, whispers advice to
Cattails: souls who look, circle, seek
Should rest, content with the rustling.