Spring 2017

Volume 12, Issue 1



Five Poems


To grip the Earth you climb
as if this paint
is still not sure it’s safe

and though they’re white
waves don’t last in the dark
–each  rung by now

in that slow rollover
they were trained for, one
to stay white, the others

bleeding as rain and step by step
–this ladder is losing curvature
leans against the house

half ramp, half shoreline
and all these stars
still clinging to sunlight

are used to your hand over hand
and yes, spilling a few drops
the way every sea is filled

overflows, lets you drink
from a sky that will light up
as if nothing happened.

And though these stones all night
come from the same fountain
they still clear the sky

for hillsides and what overflows
they carry back as the distance
that takes forever to dry

–it must be raining inside
where every stone you hold
has slope to it, falls face up

the way once there were two skies
–that’s right! two horizons
two mornings and the sun that’s left

is still looking for the other
though in the darkness
you hear your arms folding

–even without wings the Earth
almost remembers growing huge
lit and this endless rain

has always depended on it, the rest
is lost, calling out from your hand
and even further off.

It’s only a few minutes
but they add up as bedrock
and from behind swallow the Earth

whole –this watch is always late
though its slow climbing turn
has nothing to do with this sunset

strapped to your wrist
while the other hand waves goodbye
running into bad weather

as if all it can retrieve
is hillside, sure you will lean back
slower and slower without any closer.

What chance does this moon have
the way for a few hours every day
not one drop makes it back, held down

as the thirst that never lets go
and you swallow hillside into hillside
–a few hours! that’s all and the moon

still trying, takes from your jawbone
some ancient sea half marrow, half
no longer flowing through as moonlight

heavier and heavier with the entire Earth
backing you up when the moon is lifted whole
from inside your mouth, to be returned

then gather you in for the fire
that is nothing without the night sky
still claiming you with headwinds and rain

even when there is no rain
–there is no fire left though the moon
never dries, clings to your lips

the way this dirt drinks as much as it can
and everything it touches is want
–you don’t have to empty all these flowers.


And though the flames are hidden
you still drink it black –spoons
are useless, aimlessly circle down

the way you once added cream, sugar
clouds –you level off so your hand
takes longer to climb back

let the cup burn your lips
as sunlight wedged between –you yell
though no one becomes suspicious

sees the fire starting up again
–it’s a simple first-thing-in-the-morning
so no one is the wiser and sometimes

a darker darkness is lured alongside
where you tighten till this cup begins
its slow turn into madness and your arms.






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