Athens, Ohio

The city was dead when we went
so we intended to fill ourselves
with black magic found
in skeletons on the street.

Look how roots of fallen
trees meld with earth.
Go where lines still meander
on your palms–

we did not share with ghosts
when we reached the end,
no words whispered into steam
of dim lights and Darjeeling,

no further graffiti for your blue
telescope eyes peering through time
to the origin of your cosmos, when
your essence poured from your sleeves

but carried less starlight than it does now.

 

(originally published in The Stray Branch, Spring 2018)

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How We Talk

we condescend to clear glass
so the air heliums with want
even with fire’s slow pulldown of string

the cacophonous wooden notes
(f-sharp descends to d-flat)
strangle the neck violin

fingers distance from tiny sheathing white hairs
on your cheek’s salt hill

fingerpuppets in beanies pirouette
in overheated ballets

the conductor parts the orchestra
into the red sea, left crescendo
right crescendo rippled tidal
pulling apart from each other

slowly, hats dance
further, hats dance the tarantism
sans heads turning to meet eyes

hands dance in thunderbang
unison, auditorium of electric energy
the smoke waning

leaving our lips
in one last, exhumed breath

 

(originally published in Random Poem Tree, Winter 2016)