Without you, the sun darkens
Cold settles in
Home becomes hollow
I feel the weight of my heart

Without you, laughter hurts
as the world keeps turning
My breath noticeable
Folding myself into origami

I’ll see you
In full regalia
Arms outstretched or crossed
At my performance here
Without you

We’ll embrace again
My guardian angel
While we’re apart


Mr. Whatwashisname

You never mention snow in June
But now you mention her
As if she’d swirl in like the wind

And always be your girl

So if I’m packing parkas for a summer camp
Be sure I’ll know you’ll mention her
How pine trees made her snap

And the grand canyon couldn’t out-grand her smile
It’s been awhile, I’ll say
When I see her someday

On your arm

I don’t plan on laughing more lady-like
I quite like a well-placed guffaw
And one day I’ll be having a grand ole time
With someone who loves me as much as I loved ya

And I won’t mention you in passing
For you’ll have faded like a winter day

No, I’ll be laughing
Laughing, laughing

Sometimes laughing for no reason at all

Tilting Downhill

The best way to stop someone wandering down a path is a post sign

Or a person bearing directions ill-conceived or conceived for ill

And none of this matters in the dark when the stars wipe away like so much glitter

Or you’re standing beside me

Nothing urges the sick traveller toward the forest like a well-worn path.


Strained clouds bleed


Sequences without pattern

Or footsteps without man

Ghosts and formulas filling in for all we’ve loved

And all we’ve loved is one brain away

One false synapse from leaving us

For no other reason than

We had a hard time

No one would listen

I felt alone

In all that love?

In all that room.

We Didn’t Know

The measure of me

In my hands

Hollowed to hold the weight of you

Scratches up and down the shirt to beg

A strike snapped from a snake

And all stillness

Then movement

Where the fan whispers into your clothes and sends the secrets tittering out

A flap of your jacket

A slip of hand from giants

And you’re gone

The Bad Crush

i had a crush
a bad crush
the kinda crush that makes you think the other guy’s got a crush
on you
and i was above it all
not a toe cross the line
until i couldn’t see him at all
oh, i had a bad, bad crush
the kind you can’t tell no one bout
not even the crush
but i did good things for him
and wished him good thoughts
and in all that good i got caught
in a crush
a bad, bad, bad crush
the kinda crush you tell people he has
on you
cause it’s true
then it’s not
but you still have that bad, bad, bad, bad crush
i think i can see him again without looking away
i think i could even smile
a little
little smile
that has nothing to do with him at all
i think i can glow by myself again
and not wish to step up and out again
if he enters a room
i think i could write one last poem for him
even a bad bad bad bad bad one
and leave it at that

or maybe two


from his bathtub
he listens to birdsong
beyond closed windows

muffled bursts of sunrise
scrub away the bruises
long to ease his shoulders
shadows flickering as cars break the light

he hums himself a birthday
a conjuring of youth
murmurs her name
scent of blueberries and forget-me-nots
in the bubbles about his knees
smooths back his hair with water
and sits forward dripping

he whistles a response to the
trickle tickle of birdsong
and waits for her name to replay


forgiven, always
though faith dislodges
forgiveness, always
i won’t let the tears slow me down
I’ve known the steely eye
the throwing horse
the shuttered brow
and i will not offer these to you
but carry on as we normally do
core shredded by dogs


green whether weeds or flower stalks
the fields nod confident to the whispering wind
yes i will meet every challenge you give
i will fall when you say fall
unbidden rise again
and i
need no hand to rise
but my own