Swing Me

You swing me,
swing me open
like a door you might be
fixin to walk through,
your pressed white sleeves
all loose
and fresh and smelling
of clean laundry
and guitar strumming
from a Sunday afternoon.

You swing me
like that big old branch
still dangling
from the cottonwood.
Just barely hanging on,
but dancing for certain,
along the thirsty water tips,
as we see it from the rock
that the river
placed for kissin.

You swing me
like this sunshine music
scorching down on
all the happy dancers
in their summer honey dresses
and their pearl snap button-downs,
scorching like that long look
you give me on the dusty
walk home just before
the sweet, wet rain.

In Moments Before Sleep

You are getting big
and restless as you dream,
and the three of us,

we do not fit in this bed
the way we used to. Outside,
the wind blows strong

through the cottonwoods,
their time tattered branches
churning the night into black

butter.  I think of my father,
about how little time there is, about
the evening my brother and I

ate lobster and drank champagne
just moments before
we received the final call, and then

paid the fancy waiter with his credit card.
He would have loved this, our father.
A cosmic joke

and his two growing children
overlooking Santa Monica Bay
at sunset, celebrating the lives

he gave us, and the same wild sea
on which he taught us dirty shanties
and turned us into his willing crew.

There is so little time,
but between now and death,

says my friend, There is

so much nuance.  And this
I suppose, is why
I lay awake tonight, between

your two sweaty bodies, the window
thrown wide open to the precious scent
of the coming rain.


Even the
pebbles cast
black shadows
long, like
zebra stripes
across the
dusty trail.
And long,
your shadow
too, speechless
and stretching
up the
hillside ripe
with yellow
cactus bloom.
All evening,
you are
quiet with
your questions,
stopping only
to replace
the silver
grass between
your teeth,
or to
sit and
watch the
last speckled
patch of
sunlight fading
on the
river, rippled
water moving
in and
out, and
in again.