the last poem

pipeline in flood

at the end,
i don’t know that we are any better off.

the rains have stopped
and everything green
is growing, but we still don’t
have travel plans,
and tomorrow is anyone’s guess.

the squirrels got the first
strawberries, and the red
rose is set
to open its first blooms
any day now.

i got through without owing in taxes.
i can hear church bells
with the front door open.
sometimes you return my texts.
some nights we sleep like lovers.

it is the first of May,
and the river calls.
you told me yesterday: three
cars tumbled in, spilling
crude somewhere

upstream. i don’t know
if it was a result
of the storms, or
our negligence.
it will reach here,

they say, but not when.

Relativity

Academic vigours
lose their science
when it comes to art.
An array of space-point-time
lines foretelling
the devil’s future
in tingled palms,
they predict
useless fiscal gymnastics
in a landscape devoid
of tumbling mats. And
the earth? Upstream
folly commanding clocks
to run backward. We’re
left iceboxing in a desert
on the centennial eve of never-had-
existed. Avenue upon
avenue of comatose
dreamers, smiling at
the sun. I burn, therefore I am.

when rivers die

When
rivers die,
there is
a silence
of stones.

Like all good pall-
bearers, they
carry the weight
down low, standing
straight while
the lament goes on for
miles.

The sun
unfolds
across old stretch
marks in soft mud. Slow.
Time breathes out
a dirge in oxidized
inspirations,
gasps a
violet ending.
Sentinel cancer,
the wise acridness
of dried riverbones
exposed
to eyes
that do not blink.
Slow.
A despair in sepia.
All graces
abandoned,
broken glass
dropped in faded weeds.
Brittle; brutal. Quiet.
None know her
suffering. None
can say
if she cried
out
at the last.

When
rivers die,
there is
a silence
of stones.

They keep watch
over what was,
blessing
each raindrop
in their stolid way,
dreaming
of waterfall
caresses.