Hush, Hush (Poem)

I am a fox. I eat the snow.
The endowment of a warped forest
What steams humid in the deep
Deep winter. Salt dust like shepherd’s tears

You never had patience for that.
Crystal stream-looks and stolen-throat dreams
Tattoos of fish dances, bullets
Coffee against foggy windowpanes:

I am forgotten. I sleep wild.
Crepuscular. Duskrogue. Furred Loki.
You sandman, stole fast my two hearts
Away on grass-shod, grainy plains green

Hung like heartfruit strung high upon
Pine boughs, drip-red and pulp, cosmic.
One heart my fractal fae, one my
Fragmented faith. I wake in fern blades.

I wake in gray. I eat the snow.
I cannot hunt for what-I-once-was.
Sunset speakers trill the night-song
Twilight makers, their clay biceps taut

Haul dewy stars through falling black
Leave no prints in fresh powder, my white
Tails beneath ethereal feet–
You saw me once, a long time ago

But you had no time for that. You
Had gems, had stones, had cake to study
And I, end-day hunter, seldom
Crossed your path. You saw me in the stream

In the eddying pool where deep
Water grows, you saw me reflected
Shallow prowler, playing in words.
I eat the snow, the ink beneath. You,

Guest in this forest, fresh from your
Concrete and glass, iron and brass. Take
Me in your pocket, take me in
Your jaws, watch me pad down kept lawns

See me through grocery-store glass.
A long time ago, I would have gone
Cold, a long time ago, I would
Have gone blind. I walk slow, hunt finches.

Hunt redbirds, race fieldmice, outrun
Other soft-padded winter hunters.
The fruit in my chest grows thick. Fig
And apple. Not native to this vale.

I stole the souls of six stories
Slid their clean bones between brick and stone
Shored up the cellars, dried the words
Saved to season a season away.

I think, I think, if you were to
Skin me, else shear my harefur like sheep
You’d see a wilding path, a map,
An impossibility. I am

A fox. I eat the snow and ink.

When I Go to Visit (poem)

When I visit, the door is always
Locked six in the room, TV silent
Paused on a black-and-white
Stale staring, people talking
A winter’s breath in full summer.

When I sleep, the cot is musty
Tucked in a basement corner
Old water damage, workout
Beside a walk-in with ornaments.

That door haunts me like
Nothing else. Chilly open: nobody
Came between its close and now
Black pit in blacker shadow, midnight
Chase, why must it yawn so wide?

When I eat, always there is one off
Four places set, five people et–
We feast staggered, or one
On the sofa, like a vulture what
Snagged some choice tendon.

When I left, back with young muscle
They boxed my things, closed up
The life I once shared, demanded
Closure to something I wanted left open
My place and my memory of me,

In all the ways moved on, in all
Yet still she says, headphones on
Watching the black-and-white
Dog running between seated politics,
“You bring so much joy when you visit.”

I wonder why, and in what place,
What purgatory, what resident
Hesitancy, a person would want
To box that up, toss it out, forget.

Come On Up the Hill (Poem)

We Come Together:
Stand before
A double-fan arch grille
Single-wide mahogany
Double-diamond six panel with
Half-glass sidelights.

Inchoate, a prismed sun invited
Sprayed across the porch, veranda, stoop.
Always overcaste, a rainbow ekes past
Meticulous Yggdrasil, her skirt-of-roots
A window beneath her branches
(Double-fan arch grille) Trunk a rotund
Sexy, full, bend.

This entry could use a second door, this
Place of residence for the uprooted
For the fallingleaves cultures.
We have but one root in the end–
Umbrella-adjacent still only a bas-relief
Mere shadow to the overcaste skies

We stand in line together
Money and soul-wealth alike
Knob of polished iron
Pitted from a seasonal saltwater pour
Two feet placed upon a welcome mat
Muddied from a thousand types of earth.

This the loam,
This the seedbed of Eve’s Garden.
Desert mirage-made-full.

We don’t see what’s behind
(Single-wide mahogany) this gate
(Double-diamond six panel) this worn
Trembling wood touching finger-pads
All the oils of cultures secreted out
We see, only,
A tree-of-promise
Ourselves alined to enter

Yet We All Came Before

Is this God? Is this Justice?
Half-(glass)lidded (highlights) Budh?
To step in, to enter one abreadth,
Remove the muddied shoes,
Remove the bloodied socks
Traipse through an abode–

Enraptured safety.

Why is this threshold closed?
Is it as a present wrapped?
Mystery abounds.
Is it a bottleneck?
Hide the genocide, hold the masses
Is it a riddle?
Speak, Friend, and enter.
Does it keep the natures out?
Devilish and Divine alike,
Glottish-sticky romance and
Spittle-flown revenge, the
Embattled imperfect Hope-healers,
Philosophers of Kindness, the
Tempests of rage
What burns down to a simper
Alone in a corner what–
What purpose does this door hide?

Why is it, only, this wide?
We Come Together, and I–
I am third in line:
First Diana, and Beksinski behind.
Damocles on the sidewalk
Twenty souls, then Einstein.

Here, all are made strange.

An Unkindness (Poem)

My head or my heart, still
Writes to you, of you
Unforgotten subconscious
Little barkshape things
I still get job searches for a life
In North Carolina I’ll never live.
I call them Unkinds.
Some forgotten file in my Dropbox
A squirreled away picture
A poem or a memory
Or someone just like you
Staring Poirot in the face
His friend but why did you betray him–

Every project I write has a default
Woman charismatic character
That grows into someone else
But starts as a thought of you.

My head or my heart
Still writes of you
I don’t know it until it’s done,
And we’re there cherishing a Wingate
Blacktop before
Our cars depart, dog in the backseat

The end of us killed the poetry in me
Killed the romantic in me, somesuch
Part dreamer in me, and I built
One new head and one new heart
Scaffolded skyscrapers wrought with
Lichen on the north face, smudgeproof
Glass, and a character that runs away.

I had to reconstruct the debris what lay
A plane crash what began at the Arch
And ends at shakshuka.

Every time I write “ridges” I think
How right I was, how adamant you were
We didn’t survive our first chapter’s edits.
I was a pantser before you, and now I plan
I must prepare
Always now, I am not prepared.

As a survivor of youth, as a survivor of you
Scouts honor, a go-bag of poetry
An Emergency Thought
One memory of something found
Two of those things lost.