because while some truths lend themselves to equations, others are best described in verse


the loneliness of train whistles

tracks over Mayo
the loneliness of train whistles
has been known
to keep us up at night.

when there is moon,
we play hopscotch
on  old sidewalks

with chalked silhouettes
of desire. when there is not,
we walk white-footed the rails

by the river, counting
darks between shadows
until the sun

comes and grows and
our backs bend too heavy
so we turn them

from the creosote-soaked
tang of the city
to dig holes in dry dirt,

filling them up
with all the weight
of emptiness.

it is a long way since 17, but

pipeline with rose petal

by midsummer i
am all riversand and
freckles, inkdreaming

in a language re-
born from murk
and rivermud.

and though
it is good growing
weather, all

sticky rain
and cloudless
noons, my vinedark

currents are slow to crawl,
slow as the sun eats

snugged close
on a narrow doorstep,
swatting mosquitoes

seems suddenly
like some kind of love.
so we soak up each

heavy july evening
as if we knew
we weren’t meant

to last. as if fall
were already falling.
as if this were

another country
song dripping
to its end.

just where summer touches Mayo’s Island

heron, pipeline rocks

high-up, herons crank.
river shudders over rock below,
foam-white over brown-green-gray.
a cartridge of firecrackers sits
half-buried in sand, spent.
where beech trees leave
shadow, the sun fights for a print-
dimpled foot. there are egrets
too, like snow in july treetops.
and of all things, these
remind me of the ocean,
of us so much it hurts.


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