small town faces

out of habit

a swerve to the right

remind the bell tower to ring

a singsong hum

signaling time

to stretch

a drink of water

memories of eucalyptus

meandering through

wishes and dreams

 

there are names i will never use

sayings that go too far beyond

rituals and clocks that run slow

and this may be the last

so i hold it under my tongue

savoring the bitterness

its edges and curves

tongue flicks slice raw pink

sweet copper

 

there are so many of the same

including my broken nail bed

hitting space and control

a black purple brown blood clot

long hairs

keep a steady gaze

on the only color in the room

 

i’m beginning to smell like coffee

in the company of tea and bagels

the spreads eventually turn sour

the milk is only half ‘n’ half

or 2%

soy

 

the coy meek hello is followed by wanting

there is no question of need

only followed by a pinch of lavender

a return to the clock

 

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steel and steal

There are signs of over roasting

          slight bitter notes that cannot be counted

for

all the places we’ve held onto each other with grasping hands

reaching for heart strings

playing the chords

strumming each to sing         your truth lightly

          without staining                 cutting

these calluses

strain

                   all the moments alone, lost

it all to be here

                             all those smiling faces

                             all those hands

for one.

still wandering

they are playing my favorite song             if only for one moment alone     moving to the sound of the down beat

to evoke a favorite memory

we left at a time of dis

running from heat so hot we could barely breathe                 disdance          i will waltz

lengths and distances we have swerved and where we will go

 

next time

i’ll remember the power

full storm

calls us to balance stones

 

falling rain

watching rain turn memory to remember snowflakes

you can’t hear

the rain of snow

its silent white

glare

 

fall asleep to the sound of bassandrums

the heart to dream

The Trees

here: a womb and legs wrapped tightly
a sacred ritual
the routine we look forward to
a decision: to make blood or not
the friends we will eventually make
the reasons we give
why we photograph graffiti-ghosts
or etch our names in trees

wandering goat–eugene, OR

doom
“we’re doomed”

the guitar bass and drum slow heart beats and then crescendo

the downbeat’s
awkward smiles
at everyone so friendly
at everyone so silent
through stares
i am not in all black today

tomorrow i am not
black
“aint she, aint she, aint she”
too brown
“too beautiful”
Tracie’s repetition haunts
fragmented memory:

a star etched on the side of a [black]child’s head
how the hair will grow into crevices
how many mosquitoes followed us into the tent
how many bites still itch
scratching my eyes to see all those stars under redwoods

we finally returned to the ocean
drove by to say “see you again soon”

sometimes
the signal drops
sometimes
the hardest rain won’t wake the sleeping dog
wandering in a cage
waiting for mother