Pool Party

Yesterday we were at a pool party
attended by only a few others. It was
dog-friendly, as it was last week,
so the lone, small white dog
lapped water into his mouth
while on an inflatable raft and we
stood in silence and watched as he
drank the blue that held the specks
of fallen leaves and submerged spiders
while our beers turned warm. Last week
we were at a party in the same house
with a few of the same people but the
sun was out and I did not have to keep
wondering if you were okay, if you would
dip your feet into the clear with me and all
the people we did not know then because,
last week, a stranger in a bar did not yet
shake your body and bite you
long after you begged him not to–
no, the night before last week’s party
we danced to nineties hip-hop
inside the shadows of others until
we could not help but mine our
bodies for gold. Last week, we laughed
as the dog lapped the pool into his mouth
but watching, now, we know there are some
who force a tongue at whatever water
they see fit, how they lap and lap
until there’s nothing but a splash
of what they lapped at all.

 

(originally published in The Collapsar, Summer 2016)

Gallery Hop

Walking through the galleries on High Street
absorbing art, the watercolors bleed together–

a blue-green pond carries the weight of ducks.
The familiar arches of the Short North beneath

gray clouds, strokes of paint whoosh cerulean
onto wall, a window with its subject unmoving.

I wait stock-still for the art to understand me,
as if a painted cloud could somehow awaken

within something akin to the sound of wind
on the lake in the presence of trees who long

lost their leaves, age marked by a reception to
desire. With whom will I share my barren age,

those outermost rings which mark the end

 

(originally published in ‘the vacant hinge of a song‘, courtesy of Origami Poems Project)