May Intoxication

Wisteria-like, you wind your fingers,

strong as a newborn,

across my chest. I wanted you

from the morning I watched your irises

slide beneath their Atlantic blue

to a gray-dappled horse

in my recurring dream.

Your tongue flicks smartly

as the garter snakes, sunning deftly

along my basement bricks.

So, my lashes drowse heavy

with the cottony lust of a first girl-

archaic; smeared in charcoal;

blazoned brighter beneath cinders

-than the nearest sun.Eastern Garter Snake

When you’re afraid you’re going to grow up to be like me

I think we’ve said the most hurtful things we could muster tonight, and yet, I still love the fuck out of her. I do all I can to make us okay; obviously, our relationship is terribly important to me. I know it is to her. How easily we belittle one another. Consider this: we would not be in this fight right now if one had been injured in Boston, if the other’s legs were gone, if she could no longer walk, talk, think…petty fight. It’s time to take up the other’s shoes, walk in them and create a better existence from the experience. Not to perpetually wait for that other shoe to drop. At some point, one must accept that the lines in the pavement are straight. And necessary.

fridge magnet poem

dark spring

bluest in our garden

whispering

ballooning

under rain

Congaree Epiphany

To the five or so tiny

spiders, innocuous, pale

and curved as my fingernail,

please forgive me.

Unfounded fear mingles

with the dull throb of muscadine

wine, and a sigh of my paddle

sends your bodies plunging

below tannin-choked waters,

dark as chicory coffee. Between

a labyrinth of cypress knees,

I marvel when these exquisite

dancers soon surface,

buoyant miracles

pirouetting from the murk.

character sketch for Dina

She says I created a new painting today, and he ignores her; he types feverishly at the Mac. She resorts to her outdated Samsung, her best friend.

She looks at the computer below her lashes. She does this when she’s serious, when she knows she has nothing much to lose and not a lot to gain.

Later, when she’s just blurry enough, she piddles along in Word, phrasing, paraphrasing, diluting, revamping, exploring, typing these words now in recognition of typing. She listens to her favorite band in the moment-Bon Iver-and its particular sway, the lilt of a voice perhaps, a misplaced dabbling of banjo.

She thinks of the man she let go tonight. The man she barely knew but to whom she felt a connection as strong as an electric magnet utilized for a 5th grade experiment. His name contained one syllable, conveniently deceiving as his personality. His abs stood firm as his simple words in meaty, heart-dripping texts blazoned on phone bills that he paid for to be courteous.

To love best is to let go, right? Right? The color of their eyes match in the light of his bedroom just after the sun rises. Blue slides more into gray as they wrench from sleep with a dread of leaving. This dread remains pervasive. Why should they be so selfish?

How will they learn to let go benignly?

She sits behind her screen; she wonders about the neighbor across the way with his giant canvases and dark sunglasses, chopped in slivers by the blinds. These days she can only muster listlessness, and the aging furniture only offers the certainty of dust motes floating on an unseen current, across the backs of ghosts. The past year has given her the hope of letting go. She knows the best talent learned through living, especially the rough kind of living, is to ignore overwhelming nihilism and move toward a sincerity in being. Sugar coated Carpe Diem. In the words of Donald Hall, “To get old is to lose everything.” To enjoy losing everything is perfection. Obviously, this was my first day of yoga, and it was surprisingly good.

Contemplating Distances

What to do when you’re all tangled in blue? If I was a musician, I’d have written you twenty songs by now. Until then, I offer meager words, a pitiful penance.