Monthly Archives: October 2015

About Time

About Time

The mirror of time shows us only ourselves in the present.
There are no meters on the avenue of time. But when I parked

there a policeman immediately chalked my tire. It’s not like
you can stay here forever, he said, putting the small notebook

in his pocket. Would you want to know when he’d come back?
You could spend all day screwing in the light bulb of time.

Your eyes go bad just as the book of time is getting interesting.
The extra value meal of time is cold when you open the bag.

The middle school slow dance of time has the guitar solo
that you cannot figure out how to slow dance to.

The feral cat of time pees on the boxwoods outside.
There is a stuffed frog of time that I cannot locate

from the recent move. In the driving rain tonight
an owl exploded in front of my headlights

up from the dark road with a piece of something’s past
in its claws as it flapped backwards to avoid my car.

In my rearview mirror of the future I could see
we are all just creatures on the road.

It takes a long time to learn to play the piano.
Nobody plays the piano of time for just this reason.

Running

Running

When October’s morning glories trumpet our loss, you run.
When the day’s color concedes itself to leaves, you run.

When the earth rotates against you, you run harder.
When the earth changes its mind about you

and carries you along with it, you run faster.
When the skein of pain tightens across your thighs,

you run more. When our hands tell the time
in the dead hours where memory is sand,

you pull me from the bed and two hundred feet
below the earth by the gorge’s lasting stream we run.

When the moon flows like the reflection
it is, you run across the river of stars and your feet

do not splash against the night. Because the night
is as shallow as a puddle and you are as light

as the reflection of streetlights above you, and as still as you are
in the soul of my sleep, ahead of the curve of memory, you run.

Lines Stolen From a Private Letter Neither Fully Deleted Nor Fully Sent

Lines Stolen From a Private Letter Neither Fully Deleted Nor Fully Sent

Selflessness can consume you, too.
We are birds signaling across a migration

started in different seasons. Insistent longing,
unsigned wind, eternity’s caution tape.

When my own name is a blur
to me, yours will be a bell.

Fortune teller

Fortune teller

fortuneteller (2)

An old paper trick. My daughter’s voice counting
as her thumbs and forefingers shift the shape

to reveal triangles within triangles, like the smallest
possible stable shape of a thought, a fate. Choosing from the images

or words drawn on each one, I go with “Gold.” Shuffle. “Pine tree.”
Shuffle. “Two┬áinseparable dots.” At each choice the landscape

changes again beyond choice. Under the last shape
is the final stable thing, the fortune: An old dream

will come back to you. Almost invisible, that dream
beneath colors and trees, underpinning everything.

Exposure

Exposure

Perhaps I have shown too much.
Or left what matters out in the cold.

From a cold family in a cold state:
how did you tilt the seaons

so that notes slipped out of me
at your door? Words warmed me.

The world’s warnings like so much snow
covered all paths. I had to be exposed

to no direction to build a stillness
of ice, and sun, and time for your affection.

Autobiography of Yes

Autobiography of Yes

Speak honestly with me — I am no decision.
I am an acknowledgment like a leaf landing

on the reflection of what it fell from acknowledges
it is not rejoining the tree but starting a new life

afloat on the agreeable other, unreflective,
its shape an utterance spreading out, unstoppable.

still

still

What is hanging still there over the clouds and houses?
In this moment when even the crickets are pursing their lips.

I know the gravity of things keeps it all moving, that it takes
time for the light to reach me, I know on a soft quiet night

nothing is still but look up there, memory the size of the moon,
lighting the way, going nowhere, perfectly still.