Not this summer

The Equatorial Jungle- Rousseau 1909
One Summer Before this One
There were monkeys in the trees outside my window, in the mornings
After nights of bugs bouncing off the fan and sleeping in my mouth
No doors nor screens, but brilliant mangoes for breakfast
The blonde man-girl sang old Tina Turner songs under a blue moon
And tiny red-purple crabs gathered in droves at the edges of the shadows.
They wanted to taste my toes, feed on meaty bones.
Las Brisas smelled like yeast, like sea and grease
He took me there, on a bicycle built for one, just once
Laughing with his friends, watching me out of almond corners
Click, click, click said the crabs, and their myriad eyes shone with tears.
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Sacrilege

Burning the bodies of our ancestors to fuel our excess

Sacrilege, sacrilege, sacrilege the pistons say

Punching holes in our umbrella, shitting where we breathe

Apathetic, worn down, I drive my car 100 miles without apology

Idle, and watch their souls fly ozone-ward on the black of my exhaust.

Drink my BPA-free water, eat hummus and crackers

Sit by the shore and watch the offal beautiful upon the waves.

 

My drop in the bucket, it won’t save us now

Our desert, once grassland now cracked gator skin

Lakes exposing the suicide dead and schools of fish stranded, surprised

Sucking at the mud and air in wonder as their scales dry

The hot winds of change blow strong here.

False Escape

Morning brings a land forgotten

Wraith dreams of a salt sea millennia gone

The two-lane road stretches into sacred fog

Obscuring the forsaken desert and hinting of a clandestine coastline

Water beads on the windshield, lungs gasp at the curveball damp

Road signs peer suspicious through clouds in a sky brought low.

Yellow arms of dead brush become beachweed bent over dunes

Vertigo, as we are transplanted miles away from here

Not on the way to work. Not the same as yesterday.

The very air incites tumult, change, transmutation

Until the door closes, and the day descends sword-like.

Possessed and Bait

Possessed

Incandescent sparks against the liquid,
velvet black
Your silken, heavy smothering rope
Across my chest, bound up in tangles of my overgrown skin
The comfort making it hard to take a sip of the bitten air
You rub my foot gently
Underwater pulling me away from the stars
The steam of water slightly warmer than my skin
Obscures your blurred and reticent mouth
Are you afraid I’ll float to the brilliant sky
Taking the melting moon with me?
Unrelenting, you affect me harder.
Bait

Sweet scented honey, poisoned sickle
A trickle
Down breasts as white as milk, as dry as bone
A smile.
Hair flows like water, water flows between the hills
A moan
Let go, take a breath, feel the pulse under the skin
A thanks.
Somewhere beneath the stone
Cracks splinter outward, a shell overturns
Crab-walking toward the light
Peeling, upheaval, against the fear.
Comfort breeds a woman, a lover.
Scorn waits in the corner wanting blood.
Scales, balanced silently.
(both published in online literary magazine ginosko, 2008)

Progression of Love

At first it was a word, a sparking stroke, the incense of your hair

Now it takes more, a bottomless kiss, your hands rough on my skin

I pray that in 30 years it doesn’t take my heart, or yours.

I do not miss the lost nights alone, most of the time.

But the constant hum of daily life, of chores, of monochrome love…

It takes more, these days.