in the street, a small boy hums the twelve
days of Christmas under a hot June sun.
cobwebs gather like cotton in the windows
in a matter of days; i stay
up too late reading stories i already know,
wage war with my body, long to sink
drowned in a hot bath, or back down
onto the cool stone floor
of the kitchen where
you made me forget the heaviness
of my skin, where gardenia slips
through the screens– the plant
they said will never make it
through the frost.
every movement of my hand
is hedged; even dreaming;
even sweaty against the tile, there
are still more clothes to wash,
still more doubts to run clean.
it is hot for this time of year, we’re told,
no relief in storms.
it’s five a.m., and a firetruck screams red
& white through crust-eyed darkness, winding
its labyrinthine, becoming distance,
still; soft; threat.
Under brooding thunder on an early May night lonely men sit outside the B&N waiting for company, or God, to get right. Soccer moms pause and pass at the light; lonely men look up, then look down again, their eyes breeding thunder on an early May night. Longing just for a glance, a bite, salvation from the fate of lonely men, a little company, or God, to get right, late benediction, some mother to say it’s alright, they roam parking lot neon in search of amen under promise of thunder on a quiet May night. Hard bench, hard hands, back hunched, mouth tight: mothers’ sons lost searching for some little sin, for company, or God. To get right, to get home, whole, welcome, contrite, wanting someone to wonder where you’ve been when there’s threat of thunder on an early May night; you’re waiting for company. Or God to get right.
I bought a unicorn. Swapped
it for my work-a-day black
espresso taken with a daily dose
of state-of-the-world and self-disgust.
All sweet-tart pink
powder & blue syrup, topped
with a spiral of pure white cream;
you needn’t tell me no one needs that crap,
the processed sugar & color, short-
chained fats, the plastic cup;
I savored every last drop, followed it up
at the Salvation Army
with a pair of crocheted pants
and a sleeveless fringed tank
2 sizes too large that reads:
love the little things.