tug

i am trying again
to hold myself into
the pose the lake holds itself. and
friends let these things go
like dried out pine needles.

have you ever felt how the
day keeps tugging at its corners?
tugging is how you know he
has given up the war,
missing you behind the mirror
but

strangers give more intimacy than a mirror.

be free. be free.
be free from the mortar the pestle and
the humpbacked husband,

from taking the whispers threaded into the air
and smashing them into one place.

i am holding myself
into the pose the lake holds. and
nothing falls to time anymore.

counting in 2019

i counted the number of men i’ve fallen in love with this year
and came up with the number six
but surely it is many more

so then i counted the number of breaths i’ve had
and only got up to ten
but surely it is many more

finally i counted the number of trees that let me be
and arrived at only one
for surely they are not more

to nowhere, or everywhere

here you are and i’ve found you again
underneath the gentle sand and folded shells.
like whispered winter,

or the time we spent counting the frozen
leaves still dangling from the stoop weeds.

can you please reread this moment in
the gentle sunlight, can you please re-
read the tally of how many lovers have
forced us to becoming?

there are lost souls in the lake and they
are trying to remind us to let go of all
the things we are not.

fold yourself in underneath these
sheets and allow me to trace
something else, lines from every
point of energy to absolutely
nowhere.

so just let love be love, or take it anyway

why have you pulled
against my tender wrists

i spent all day
whittling away
just to pull the
strings tight
again

come and breathe with me
come and see that there is no thing
as the falling snow
or the ever orange sun.
those words don’t belong to them.
so can’t you let them
be just what they are?

not even a step is a step,
but you take it anyway.
and a flower is not a flower,
but you take it anyway.

yet another season passes

cold winds blow and between
buildings i can feel the shock
of another

friendship falling to time. did
time make agreements with
forgetfulness

or is everything that ends
in bone spurs done with
volition?

when the sun rose slow
and ached as it pulled
only just

high enough, my friend
laughed again and wond-
ered how

i keep forgetting everything.
how i forget the green
grass and

how i forget the summer
dust. see it now whistling
in the cobble

stones. i can’t keep my
mind on straight, i tried
to whisper.

you can tell the skill-
ful life by the flowers
it will bloom,

the Buddha whispered
again and again and ag-
ain, and

to count the times
your sorry mind
has tallied the times
and shadowed
itself
in chalk and lye?

so what can i make of
the smoke around my
fingers and

the browned out vines
that tap tap tap on my
frosted

windowpane?

before my hands could recognize yours

before this shore was torn
from the sun and the moon,

before my hands
could recognize yours,

here is where the thread of the day
blends with the stitching of the night,

where the earth covers herself
with oceans of grass and tides of echos.

like the way the snow recognizes
the early winter wind,
like the way the water
recognizes all things in turn:

hold my hand
now
remember
we were here
when the world first was born.

habitat1

riding a slow escalator within the
smells of rubbed out grease
and it is clean, still,
in acidic fluorescent lights
tiles of primary
red blues and greens

no one ever taught me that life would be so gentle when it became so dark and cold and we all huddle away from one another, pilots in our brains navigating our way but first

letting this shared space be a respite from what the shared space is.

i can remember trails in the deciduous woods like suggestions of erased lines
invisible shadows that suggested use and love

and habit

i can feel such trails now, though tiles hide them underneath constructed surface and sheen.

your eyes move but you stopped reading

there are three thousand ways
to give it all away, but

i stopped writing.
who are words for anyways
just the ghosts we’re leaving behind

here is one:
shadows played out between
fading away fluorescent lights.
or were they neon at times.

it was the first time in my life
i ever thought i was brave.

here is another:
falling in love with winter frost
to belly up the fact that
i can never fall in love at all.

ghosts are only stories.
or, shadows in the back of the cave.

there are three thousand stories
to wrap yourself up in, but

you stopped reading.

though we pretend to be

like the way the bear rolls from his sleep
onto the gentle snowed in morning,

i saw him struggle against cramps
yawning taut

wound tight from a mother who
never sleeps herself

and in consideration of such a rare glimpse
he sensed me too,

we fall and roll into and out
from each other.

waking up from our instincts.
seeing we are not gods.