Off Texas Avenue, the parking lot is littered with memories

From the skinny brown arcs
of ballerinas rooted
in a coltish breeze,
the first brittle leaves drift
limply to still-summer ground,
yellow earthbound stars
five-pointed like fingers
whose reach is destined to be crushed.
there is a silence
that holds underneath the constant hum
of voices, engines, bike treads;
the same we came here seeking
so many years ago. tiny clam shells
scattered among gravel tell how far
the sea has come, calling
to mind a beach road
i saw once, where a black man
in an old truck rode north
with one arm out the window,
the bed full of rusted chains,
whole oil drums full. like the shadow
of the hawk gliding hugely over the rooftops
that bank the park, i want it
to mean something, to be more
than soundless commentary:
a blessing. a washing clean.

on Good Friday the poem

#RVA pipeline

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So the darkness shall be the light, and the stillness the dancing.
–T. S. Eliot

is about hope, how I saw a single heron
on the riverbank and, telling you of him
at the end of a bitter day, you say
I think they must be coming back.
about the note you gave me not
two weeks ago, tucked away
in my coat pocket against the still-
cool nights; how not everything fades
so quickly. this morning,
a quart of strawberries
was ninety-nine cents at the market,
so I counted out the change and I think, after
this cruel spring of shallow breath and repentance, we
will know the gasp & fire of riversummers again.

for the singer with the cyanide eyes

 

Maybe this
winter
will be easier;

maybe there is hope beyond frost;
maybe our breath will jut
in steamy tomorrows

across a river that never
freezes; maybe your dreams will dream yet
tachycardic, wild and blue,

like the pulse of the ocean,
muffling the deaths that lie spread-
eagled across decades,

hissing obscenities
under the bedspread, the deaths
that smell ever-so-softly

of overripe promises,
understated like
magnolia blossoms

at the end of summer…
like secrets for a December
no man has seen.