July One

Dirt stained elbows, both,
purple braids of clover bud,
July’s first soft dusk.

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Eleven

Hand in hand,
our breaths freeze
into the shape of laughter
and the moon
is smiling, too,

white-toothed crescent
suspends the last light
of the setting sun.
We buy magnetic bingo
to play

at the Thai place,
where we take too many mints
and wink at each other
each time we pass
the bowl. At home,

we crunch the candies
between our teeth
in a pitch dark room
to watch the sparks fly,
a trick your grandfather

left for us, you tape
blue paper
to your arms and flap
your bluebird wings
into my room,

I watch you fly,

and we are in the middle,
you and I,
not quite what we were,
nor what we will
become, and lingering
tonight,
so joyously,
so perfectly
in between.

Fortune Teller/Erzulie

Voodoo girl,
you are my guru,
my sister,
my teacher,
my midnight preacher,
bare all, dare all,
beware all,
stoke your fire,
your deep desire.
These are the days of reckoning,
of beckoning,
and beckon you do,
by revelation,
quiet invitation
of all that is you,
undeniably true,
fortune teller,
fare-the-weller,
like a Petro loa,
a bayou boa,
jump in, jump in
to your center card,
your heart is your art,
your map, your chart,
lest you discover
this war is over,
your ship is sailing on
like the ripe red dawn,
and everything you need
is already on board,
your peace, your sword,
your just reward,
all you need tonight
by the white candlelight
is faith restored
and to climb aboard.

Gratitude to a Sore Throat

At the jungle lean-to
where the Utes once
piggy-backed Ute babies too,
we will find four perfect
sticks for stirring
coffee beans – penny
for a cup – you brew,
I drink,
and after fourteen cups,
you will serve me another
before we count coins
into your wallet
for an adventure
or gumballs,
or both,
Do I have enough for both?
And the helicopter
will save the space shuttle
from the slithering sea monsters
somewhere over the Indian Ocean
as the flush-cheeked pilot
lands on the lambskin rug,
his head on the lap
that will never tire
of these rescues.

Winter’s Sail

The path was perfect,
but so much better
when they left it

down the wide,
white hillside,
more slide than step,

laugh and falter,
and at the bottom
a bridge across

the icy river
where they threw
their sticks and stood

with hands in pockets,
boats sailing
out of sight, away

from the three shrinking
pirates – all snow,
all sky, all sunlight.