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.

expiation in flame

a season’s sublimated energy
blushes in the embers, rises
to kiss chastely
an indigo sky; rebuked
by a breath of cold night she
returns sullenly to earth,
glowering out briefly
at the darkness,

autumn’s air but ashes in her mouth.


Caught up in microcosms

and forgetting to breathe

I dance, shivering

over quicksands baked under desert suns,

phenomenon no less strange

than that I am at home in overcast lowlands

dripping dew and melancholy.

Huddled against a prying wind

and shielding what was once flame

from altogether extinction,

I look for direction

to a changeable sky,

try singing,

scribble in mud, hope

only not to become buried

in metaphor.