Drop Off

Two boys
lean against

the brick wall
by the entrance

to the school.
He says,

Goodbye for now!

and runs to join them,
leans just like

they do,
boys,

observing
the opening

world. The yellow sun
flashes round

his ruffled
silhouette,

still flavored with
the sleep of morning –

and my eyes,
they cannot see

if he looks
little still,

or almost
grown.

Advertisements

Highway 84

I see your jeans
in the mirror,
passenger side, 

and your hand
wrapped round
the gun-

How high
do you take
your octane?   

Soul fuel
on a New Mexico
highway, you take

your time,
as if this windshield
had never

been shined,
your right hand
draws slow,

back and forth
between our
steady eyes,

makes wet
and disappearing lines,
until I can see

the high desert light
on a tin sign
rusting

into sunset,
and the red, red rocks,
and velvet sky. Here,

we have all
stopped –
those of us

needing something
from the roadside
before we die –

the cactus,
and the jackrabbit
and the white 

Cadillac,
and you and me
needing nothing 

but a damn fine view
and a little bit
of gasoline.

Brief Walk

For twenty minutes today
I walked in the sunshine
and it was enough,

this body like a rind,
with something sweet inside,
and no less compostable.

I have known love,
the touch of a mouth,
and I too have tasted.

We are not the sum
of what we have been,
nor the story of what

we will be. We are
the wind on skin, the scent
of melting snow turned

to clay, the ears
through which to funnel
birdsong. The horses

walk across the pasture
to meet me. I see something
in their eyes that reminds

me of something old,
or the part of myself
that I have always known.

My eyes are
a many colored screen
on which a life projected

flickers with a song
and then dissolves
to blackness.

Sestina of a Storm

Inside the pane, snowflakes resume falling.
She watches a screen diagram blue radar ripples,
a cyber shore-break of storm stacked on storm,
and dreams she is swimming inside the snowy house,
between the cresting drifts, searching for a memory,
the echo of a song.

It reminds her of him, this song.
She leans into sleep and soon she is falling
into the sea of cortex and the memory
of a voyage through blue hemispheres and tidal ripples.
He lived on a sailboat then, his vessel house,
thirty feet of fiberglass to take them through the storm.

This was not his first storm,
so he soothed his progeny crew with a shanty song
full of sailors’ words not allowed in their mother’s house.
The boom swung, and they clung to rails of polished teak, falling
down the prow into the centers of concentric ripples
expanding and expanding like the beginnings of a memory

that stretches beyond memory,
past the grey matter of a Pacific storm,
and deep into the undersea ripples
of a lifetime or more, where if a girl is lucky, a pirate song
might send her mind a’ falling
through the temporal house

of her own innocence, so that perhaps within the blue house
of her adulthood, she will recall how to fashion a sturdy sail from a moonlit memory
and winch the halyards tight, even now, as the mercury is falling.
To trust the wind is to fathom the subtlety of storm,
so she sights her sextant with a song,
humming softly beneath ripples

of cloud and sky, celestial ripples
turned to diamonds over a winter’s house,
battened down this night with a mother’s song –
the newest pebble in a pool of memory,
as Polaris glows softly through the storm,
by the moon forever falling.

Stories make ripples like skipping stones, and memory
surrenders, like a quiet house, to each passing storm,
while the waves play their endless song, and the snow just keeps on falling.