Poem to be read in the middle of the night (iv) / Skyline at dusk
I lean my head back against the transparent beach.
Starlings pull up the garland of the sky and hang it on trees.
Miniature lake, street puddle spilling sky on a tire.
Because they leap, like that boy I was
we make a leap of faith and the stars stand still–
just the illusion of motion on motion
And the moon, black like a lost penny, shining
only on the edge, has been laughed at enough
to appear a smile. The starlings sharpen
their beaks against the wheel of the hour.
Almost Silent, Almost Still
Crickets suffice for thunder tonight.
Like a leg rubbing up against another.
At the gate
Emptiness slips you a ticket to the after-party.
Conversations (VI) — to the future
With eyes closed I can hear you smile.
Your voice a place I know my way around.
Woodpeckers say goodnight the strangest way
And other birds of winter appear as singular
Leaves of gray, blue, gold on the trees
We can only see through their nakedness.
I drop your eyelids’ map of dreams:
Everything you are I still don’t know
Runs through my veins
Like the flight patterns of birds
that never have to know the route
Leaves left on the trees on a sub-freezing late November evening
Eyes closed against the wind, holding a deep breath
Until it warms, I still hear the midsummer breeze
What has made you almost smile
Gazing into the occluded space
Not knowing if it’s past
Or present looking back?
One night a year there’s a certain
Hour if I don’t say it all in time
I get to start the hour over
This time saying nothing
We know what the year’s worth
Like we know a coin from its size in our palm.
The month’s full moon. A gumball in a gumball machine.
And once in awhile, two slip out at once
Into your hands. When did the fall’s first
Cold night become a harbinger for a life
Shifting seasons? I look out there:
Not a leaf has left me. Still, if what’s ahead
Is more than loose change, you’re going
To have to get a lot closer to keep
Us both warm with what’s coming.
2:33 in the morning.
The owl screeches like a thought’s hinges.
One that keeps opening just a crack
but nobody steps through.
I turn over my pillow, squint into the dark
yard, knowing nothing will clarify.
Whatever you are thinking
I am thinking, too.