reflecting as we turn from the water

there was such hope
in this morning.
there were springs
and summers all
jumbled up in our eyes.

there were poems
scrawled in neon, winding
between our fingers:
binding, not bound. now
they slog through wet

descent, flailing, &
here we are at the back
of the notebook, a single
leaf remaining
before october ends.

cold settles in
like a low fog,
like tequila hung-
over, like
responsibility.

the river keeps rising,
and i will miss it.
there was such hope
in this morning.
& i am waiting still.

on tuesday at fourteenth and v

a poet might just save your life he
nodded, knowing, the truths spit
out from wine-red lips onto the floor

like that bottle of rioja the waiter
spilt that night we sat
in the corner and heard the priest

argue for equality
of ordination; you said
it was the candlelight

on my breast that caused
the contention; i said it was just
capitalism. it was still

raining; we walked
through sad poems
to get home, umbrellaless& reciting

rosaries of glass tomorrows.
we drowned only
in standing water once.

poem ex nihilo

we burn
as the sun sets.

i am watching smoke curl,
feeding sticks into the flames
one by one by one, searching
the shapes of autumn’s shadow

for a metaphor fragile
enough to carry trust
in its silky, river-
fed palms;

for the words to drip
down your open-mouthed
throat like a benediction
and swallow naked, like a sword;

for the way silent twilight
fills the negative space
and becomes a poem
ex nihilo.