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Archive for the ‘poetry’ Category

Through west Texas

Through west Texas you told me I needed to take a step back

when all we had was yellow brick after yellow brick after yellow brick,

I stayed between the lines.

And that always bigger picture of things loomed

above us, gazing in through the windshield,

squeezing our cheeks like a grandmother, so proud.

For us, all that was were stars and stars and stars.

Hours crawled by a mile a minute and change.

You got quiet for fifty some odd ticks to the odometer

and I peeked over and saw your eyes open.

I flicked my brights to wink at you and maybe you missed it.

I took a step back.

What’s left when every thing’s ahead?

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an insurance question.

 

Spending nights watching lit up road sings

the light sputtering on and off

you sleeping in the passenger seat

my eyes glossed

your head against the window

my hand flopped over the steering wheel

knowing that somewhere a bed is waiting for us

and at times, you’ll awake for a smile, or a kiss

on my shoulder, and then back to the window.

 

i watch the yellow line on the side of the road as

the cars pass.

i remember being told to not look directly into the light

as you’ll follow it and i wonder

how love is any different.

 

we avert our gaze just enough to stay in the boundaries

avoid the collision, god forbid

and the road continues, our trip doesn’t end with a

halting stop. important to stay the course.

 

but how often do you get the urge to just follow that light

let the wheel turn

drift

if only inches

 

i think that’s going to be how little it takes.

 

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Universal languages.

 

Amazing how no matter how meager,

no matter how grand,

time swallows all.

It’s as chilling as it is comforting.

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Restless as the cold hits.

What do you do when winter begins? I think, stepping out of the movie, finally colder outside than it is in the theater.

And I think it again, the first time I see you in one of your scarves.

I can’t get enough of this seltzer, I think, as I bring the cold to my lips again, out on the park bench.

Outside the grocery store, I should get some more.

Knowing full well that damn seltzer is going to freeze me from the inside as I’m frozen from out.

Do we stop eating salads?

Do we go to bed earlier?

Get to listen to the crickets less?

Do we stop drinking spritzer?

Or simply pack away our shorts?

Do the mornings last longer? Do we linger more? Do we avoid the cold with each other’s arms? With an extra long cup of tea? Do you make soup or take time to watch the first freeze take its grasp? Do we actually read by the fire as we reminisce about sweating through the hot summer nights, though I’m never really sure if we’ve ever lit a fire and pulled out books.

What do we do when winter begins? I finally ask you.

And you shrug, and then say something about the new paper towels or the luggage you’re supposed to buy, and even with that, I’m thinking of the next thing I’ll do right after I finish this sentence.

 

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Snow to Summer

Someone once said that snow was the only thing that softened the city’s edges.

I remember that first snow day:

The library covered, the post office, a barely recognizable mound.

The trains quietly stopped and everything else lost behind noiseless powdering.

I was fine listening to the news, and you to your old Billie Holiday CD.

She sang about summer heat at some music festival.

Soon I’d make a pot of tea, and later put on boots, create walkways for the neighborhood dogs.

And while I shoveled, I’d catch a thought, my feet freezing through,

and I’d drift with each flake, up, away, spiraling.

The thought: you, last summer, talking about flying away, balloons tied around your arms and neck,

Just waiting for lift off, you said.

Just as now, on the porch, the sun basking my bare feet, I go to snow.

Schedulessness breeds schedulessness.

I’ll keep these caught moments and always drift, up, away, spiraling.

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we learn by talking and drawing diagrams with our hands but who decided not to follow the deer tracks off the trail?

i say we should.

it’s like breathing underwater, he says.

or eating cheerios after they’re left out for a night, there in their bowl of milk, i add.

all that ocean of blue ahead as soon as them clouds pass away.

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In boxes…

We held on like waltzers and spun until springtime came.

And I have the photograph, but what are we left with?

Not the nights of hookah smoke,

or the summer months we washed the sheets four times a week,

nor that time at the market, when you confused plums with grapes and your tongue swelled,

nor when the fridge broke and we put all our food in the snow.

What was it? A month like that? Fishing out pasta from newly fallen flakes.

We told ourselves it tasted better.

That cabin is gone too, the time you fell and bled from your knee, saying it’s fine, it’s fine, and then passing out before we got home.

And none of it’s there. Not even your dimples. See?

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