The days fall off the wall calendar
Like ice cubes from a tray.
Time applies the slightest pressure
And we’ll never know if it had more
Strength than that because it’s never
Necessary, the liquid days slow and
churn opaque and then click away.
When I was alone I used to spend the year’s
Last minutes on the roof, by the basketball
Pole in the driveway I’d shimmy up,
Grateful for family in the house below but
Not needing them to be grateful for everything else.
There was always enough space between
The stars for gratitude, no matter how cold.
Now, with my own family, I can hear time
Pacing back and forth on the roof, impatient.
I think about that garage roof in Rhode Island
Every year, but I no longer need to see stars.
November hymnal (17)
The night ice is a still wind.
Rips strong branches off trees
after the hours of violent silence.
Those remaining hold their tears
until the sun tells them it’s safe
and when they are done crying
there is no sign of what tore
them apart and exposed heart-
wood to the elements and circumstantial
invaders of life. Some love is like that.
The sudden split of solid direction,
the feathered slow motion crash,
the morning sunnier
and milder than anyone thought.
November hymnal (3)
All the angles of the sun on tomorrow’s hours
will be awkward like when you arrive late
to a friendship that began before you
understood who your friends were
If you catch up then everything changes
the number of leaves on the autumn trees
the sun rose over that morning
or the hour of the note left on the door
that is still on the door of the heart
though it said nothing less fleeting
than any butterfly of fate
Tonight while you sleep an hour will
come back but from which night?
when you could count the moons
you’d loved together on a single hand
or to a life that has been waiting for you
but now is going on as if you had been there
all along? maybe it never needed you
like the moon never needed you walking
on it but walk on it we did
Cicadas worry the heat from the bark.
Who am I to say where you are tonight
When gloaming’s slow folding unbuckles
Into night? The moon, only twenty minutes
From being a vague figure for lust, is now keen
song on a blade and without warning
Crickets and tree frogs push the black train
Forward. We all hear that same sound.
I know I will never completely reach you
And I know I will never leave you.
What that leaves us is the only word the
Screech owl knows before the circumstance
Of light floods across your lips and the sun
stumbles forward at the height of a man’s mind.
End of summer moon poem 1
Each night’s just an evening long
why should it feel like you are lost forever
just because I cannot see you where
I am looking but this overcast between us
lasts longer than reflection
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
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.